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The Tombs of the Prophets

According to medieval Jewish and Christian traditions, this fascinating ancient underground burial site near the top of the Mount of Olives is the burial place of the prophets Haggai and Zachariah.

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View from the Mount of Olives

This fascinating ancient underground burial site near the top of the Mount of Olives is, according to medieval Jewish and Christian traditions, the burial place of the prophets Haggai and Zachariah.

Descending into the tomb, now in the safekeeping of the Russian Orthodox Church, visitors are immediately impressed with the mystery of the semicircular catacomb with its 50 empty, rock-cut graves fanning out and connected by corridors.


It has been a burial place for Jerusalemites for a thousand years, from around 500 BCE to 500 CE. Inscriptions in Greek and Hebrew were even found over some of the tombs.

Two strange-looking holes in the walls on either side of the entrance, with a trough cut into the rock leading from that once held a water pipe, have archaeologists wondering what this place might have been used for before it became a cemetery. Once you’ve visited this site, you’ll know better than ever that Jerusalem is more than meets the eye!


 

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