Tombs in Jerusalem

By the Editors of the Madain Project

  • The following article contains only a tentative and incomplete list of the burials and tombs.

This page attempts to enlists all the notable and known tombs and burials in Jerusalem. Although, currently the article lists mostly ancient tombs and burials, it does not differentiate or specify the period.


Jerusalem, the ancient and culturally rich city, is a treasure trove of historical and religious significance. Among its many revered sites, the tombs in Jerusalem stand out as poignant reminders of the city's deep-rooted traditions and religious importance. These tombs, scattered throughout the city and its surrounding regions, hold immense value for adherents of various faiths, offering glimpses into the lives and legacies of revered figures from centuries past.

Rock-cut tombs are a form of burial and interment chamber used in ancient Israel. Cut into the landscapes surrounding ancient Judean cities, their design ranges from single chambered, with simple square or rectangular layouts, to multi-chambered with more complex designs.

List of the Tombs

circa 10 BCE

Absalom's Pillar
The structure that has long been identified with the Tomb of Absalom (Yad Avshalom) is an ancient rock-cut tomb with a conical roof, which is indeed located in the Kidron Valley. Modern scholarship, however, has dated the structure to the first century CE, proposing that it is in fact the nefesh, or monument, of a neighboring burial cave. The entrance to the Cave of King Jehoshaphat (Maarat Yehoshafat) is located in the background to the left.

circa 10 BCE

Tomb of Benei Hezir
The Tomb of Benei Hezir previously known as the Tomb of Saint James, is the oldest of four monumental rock-cut tombs that stand in the Kidron Valley, adjacent to the Tomb of Zechariah and a few meters from the Tomb of Absalom. It dates to the period of the Second Temple. It is a complex of burial caves. The tomb dates to the second century BCE, the Hellenistic period and the time of the Hasmonean monarchy in Jewish history. Architecturally the so-called Tomb of Zechariah postdates the complex.

circa 10 BCE

Tomb of Zechariah
The Tomb of Zechariah is an ancient monument located in the upper Kidron valley, at the foothills of Mount of Olives, facing the old city of Jerusalem. According to the writings of Menahem haHebroni from the 1215 CE, this is the tomb of Zechariah Ben Jehoiada, who according to the Book of Chronicles, had been stoned. The tomb does not contain a burial chamber and it has several elements with an Egyptian and Greek influence. The upper part of the monument has a pyramid that sits upon a cornice.

circa 800 BCE

The Garden Tomb
The Garden Tomb, unearthed in 1867 and has subsequently been considered by some Christians to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. The complex lies outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls; and consists of a peaceful garden and ancient rock-cut tomb. The Garden Tomb is considered by some to be Christ’s burial tomb rather than the more commonly accepted site within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For this reason the Garden Tomb is a popular Christian pilgrimage site especially for Protestants and Evangelical Anglicans.

circa 1200 CE

Tomb of the Virgin Mary
The Tomb of the Virgin Mary is located at the base of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. It is a Crusader church said to mark the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Centered around a quarried-out tomb that may well date from the first century. Traditions about Mary's burial in this area of Jerusalem may be as old as the 2nd or 3rd century. Such traditions became stronger in the 5th century, when the claims of Ephesus were strongly disputed.

circa 650 CE

Grave of Ubadah ibn Samet
The grave of Ubadah ibn Samet (ضريح عبادة بن صامت), companion of Prophet Muhammad is located along the eastern wall of Haram al-Sharif inside the Bab al-Rahmah cemetery. He is one of the two companions of the prophet Muhammad, known to be buried in Jerusalem.

circa 650 CE

The Grave of Shadad ibn 'Aws

Grave of Shaddad ibn Aws
The grave of Shadad ibn Aws (ضريح شداد بن أوس), another notable companion of Prophet Muhammad is located in the Bab al-Rahmah cemetery, Jerusalem.

circa 1450 CE

Tomb of Mujir al-Din
The Tomb of Mujir al-Din (ضريح مجير الدين), a fifteenth century judge of Jerusalem, is located south to the exterior court of Mary's tomb, and adjacent to the bridge over the valley. He was also the author of a book on Jerusalem and Hebron, published in 1495. His tomb, with its open four-columned structure covered by a dome, lies next to the sidewalk on the main road and there are steps leading down from it on both sides to the Tomb of the Virgin.

circa 1560 CE

Maqam Sheikh el-Dajani
Recently renovated Maqam Sheikh el-Dajani (مقام الشيخ احمد الدجاني), is located inside the Mamilla Cemetery. Sheikh was a recognized muslim religious leader (circa. 1459–1561 CE) in Jerusalem and was appointed by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent as the keeper of the David's tomb on located on Mount Zion. Today the structure is locked and the family representatives hold the key.

circa 200 CE

Tomb of David
The cenotaph believed to be the tomb of King David (مقام النبي داود) is located inside an underground crypt of the King David Tomb Complex, on Mount Zion. The building dates to the 2nd century CE the earliest, and the tradition of David being buried here was created by Byzantine Christians well over a millennium after his supposed death.

circa 1000 BCE

Tomb of Huldah
A Replica of the Tomb of Huldah, a Jewish prophetess, as seen in Holyland Model of Jerusalem. She is one of the seven women prophets of Israel enumerated by the Rabbis. The Western Huldah Gates in the Southern Temple Mount Wall are visible in the background as well. Generally the Tomb of Rabiyya al-Adawiyya is attributed to the prophetess Huldah.


Tombs of Sanhedrin
Forecourt and the outer entrance to the Tombs of the Sanhedrin also known as the Tombs of the Judges, opens onto a small courtyard, walled on three sides, located in Sanhedria. The tombs are from the first century, with carved pediments of leaves and fruit. The entrance to the tomb chamber has a smaller pediment. There are 3 chambers for graves and the number of graves is approximately 71 – the number of the Sanhedrin members. During the second Temple period, when the city expanded in this area, the tombs were moved to a more distant area.


Monolith of Silwan
The Monolith of Silwan also known as the Tomb of Pharaoh's daughter is a cuboid rock-cut tomb located in Silwan, Jerusalem dating from the period of the Kingdom of Judah. According to a ninth-century hypothesis the tomb was built by prophet Solomon for his Egyptian wife. But the Monolith of Silwan tomb most likely dates to the period of the Kingdom of Judah. Local tradition, the tomb’s Egyptian decoration and the captivating name Tomb of Pharaoh’s Daughter have spurred speculation about the original occupant of this First Temple period Jerusalem tomb.


Tomb of Nicanor
The entrance to the Tomb of Nicanor or the Cave of Nicanor is an ancient burial cave located on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. According to the Jewish tradition, this is the grave of Nicanor, who built the doors on the First Temple in Jerusalem. The cave is located in the National Botanic Garden of Israel on the grounds of the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. There are two burial caves that can be accessed from a hewn rectangular courtyard. The architectural plan of the cave, the artistic style, and finds within it, allow the cave to be dated to the middle of first century CE.


Tomb of Nabi Akasha
The tomb of Ukasha ibn al-Mihsan (ضريح النبي عكاشة), a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who settled in Jerusalem following the siege of Jerusalem in 637/38, was built in the 12th century CE. The 12th-century tomb of Nebi Akasha Bin Mohsin, is also known as Turbat el-Kameria. According to Islamic tradition, Saladin's soldiers were buried at the site; it became known as the “Tomb of the Martyrs”. Additions were made to the tomb by the Mamluks in the 13th-century.


Tomb of Jesus (Holy Sepulchre)


Tomb of Emir Aidughdi Kubaki
The square tomb topped with a single dome is identified as the mausoleum of emir Aidughdi Kubaki, a Syrian slave who rose to prominence as the governor of Safed and Aleppo, before his death in 1289 CE. It is situated in the historic Mamilla Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem.


Jason's Tomb
Jason's tomb is a fine (reconstructed) funeral monument from the late Hellenistic or early Roman period. It was the tomb of a high priestly family that was forced out of Jerusalem in 172 BCE (2 Maccabees 5:5-10) by their rival, Menelaus. It was constructed in the second century BCE and was in use until 30 CE. This tomb was discovered in 1956 CE and is located in west Jerusalem - in Rehavia. It consists of several coutryards and a "pyramid-shaped" roof.


Tombs of the Kings
The Tombs of the Kings is an ancient archaeological site located in East Jerusalem, near the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Despite its name, there is no evidence to suggest that the site was the burial place of kings. The name is derived from the grandeur of the tombs, which led early explorers to speculate about royal burials.

The Tombs of the Kings date back to the first century BCE and were likely used for wealthy and influential families rather than royalty. The site consists of a series of rock-cut tombs and burial chambers carved into the soft limestone hillside. The tombs are decorated with intricate facades, columns, and elaborate reliefs, showcasing the architectural and artistic skills of the ancient craftsmen.

While the exact identities of the individuals buried in these tombs remain unknown, the site provides valuable insights into the funerary practices and social structure of the time. Visitors can explore the elaborate chambers, gaining a glimpse into the rich history of Jerusalem during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.


Tombs of the Prophets
The Tomb of the Prophets, also known as Qubbat al-Anbiya in Arabic, is a religious site located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. This site is traditionally believed to contain the graves of various biblical prophets, although the exact identities of the prophets are not always specified. The site is significant in both Islamic and Jewish traditions.


Talpiot Tomb
The Talpiot Tomb is an ancient burial site located in the East Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel. It gained significant attention and controversy in the early 2000s due to claims made in a documentary and a book titled "The Jesus Family Tomb." The documentary and book, directed and authored by James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici, respectively, proposed that the Talpiot Tomb was the burial site of Jesus Christ and his family.

The claims made in "The Jesus Family Tomb" were met with skepticism and criticism from many scholars, archaeologists, and theologians. Critics argued that the names found on the ossuaries (stone boxes used for secondary burial during the time of Jesus) were common names in first-century Jerusalem and did not necessarily indicate a direct connection to the historical figures mentioned in the New Testament.

Additionally, mainstream scholars pointed out that the statistical methods used to calculate the probability of the Talpiot Tomb belonging to Jesus' family were flawed and unreliable. The majority of historians and archaeologists maintain that the Talpiot Tomb has no definitive connection to Jesus or his family.

See Also


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