© Dr. Eilat Mazar

TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN. The Achziv cemeteries produced extensive evidence of cremation burials from the end of the tenth to the end of the seventh centuries. In the northern cemetery, excavators found a crematorium where the bodies were burned, the only crematorium ever discovered in a Phoenician cemetery. A round structure 14 feet in diameter, it survived to a height of 10 feet. The walls slope sharply toward the bottom, and an 11-foot-long plastered tunnel at the bottom of the picture, next to the square pool, directed wind from the sea to a window in the crematorium to fan the flames. The body was placed for cremation on a bed of branches, and the bones later collected in an urn.