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KIDRON Israel.

A valley in Jerusalem, to the E of the Temple Mount, also known by the name of the Valley of Joshaphat. In the lower course of the valley several monumental tombs were carved from rock in the Late Hellenistic and the Early Roman periods. The earliest in this group is the Tomb of the Priests of the House of Hezir, a family of priests known also from the scriptures. It has a Doric porch which rests on two freestanding columns and two attached pilasters, behind which is the rock-cut burial cave. It is dated by the funerary inscription to the end of the 2d c. B.C. To the S of this tomb is the monolithic monument, the so-called Tomb of Zechariah, in the form of a cube decorated by Ionic attached columns and corner pilasters, and surmounted by an Egyptian cornice with a pyramid above. No burial cave connected with this monument has been discovered. The northernmost monument, the most elaborate, is the so-called Tomb of Absalom. It consists of an Ionic cube decorated by a Doric frieze and an Egyptian cornice set on a podium. Above the cornice is a square base for the built part of the monument, which is otherwise cut out of the rock. This square base supports a steep-sided cone. The monument is 22.5 m high and contains a small burial chamber, probably for the fathers of a noble family, the remaining members of which were buried in a nearby burial cave, the so-called Cave of Joshaphat. The gable above the portal of this cave is decorated with an acanthus scroll. The three monuments last mentioned are dated to Herodian times.


K. Galling, “Die Nekropole von Jerusalem,” Palästinajahrbuch (1936) 73-101; N. Avigad, IEJ 1 (1950-51) 96-106; id., The Ancient Monuments of the Kidron Valley (1954). (In Hebrew.)


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