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The Tomb of Avshalom (Absalom) is a grand monument in the Kidron valley, on the foothills of Mount of Olives, and facing the temple mount.
According to the bible, the tomb was built by Avshalom himself in his lifetime, since he had no sons who would build the tomb. This contradicts Chapter 14 where we were told he had 3 sons, but maybe they died earlier, or were not worthy of erecting this memorial.
After he mutinied against his father and was killed, Avshalom was first buried near the battlefield, but then came to rest in this monument.
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According to legend, on top of the top of the Yad Avshalom tomb was a hand, since in Hebrew the hand (Yad) means "memorial". Later it was removed, maybe blown away, as a protest of the son's acts against his father.
For 3,000 years the site was covered by small rocks, thrown on the tomb by visitors that showed their disgust against the acts of the son raising against his father. In 1925 the area was cleaned and the stone piles were removed.
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Because of its impressive size (20 meters in height), the tomb has been studied, drawn, and photographed by numerous researches during the past century. Two years ago, while visually scanning some photographs of the tomb, principal Investigator Joseph Zias detected three barely legible Greek letters above the original door of the tomb. The faces of the monument are badly damaged from centuries of Jerusalem inhabitants throwing stones at the monument, and the letters went unnoticed for 800 years. With support from The Foundation for Biblical Archaeology and the Jerusalem Municipality, Zias was able to cast the inscription above the door in spite of many technical problems that required the use of scaffolding and technical assistance from the laboratories of the Israel Museum. Using special techniques, Epigrapher Emile Puech (editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls) was able to discern two lines of Greek totaling 42 letters. What is most important scientifically is that the inscription includes the name of tomb's inhabitant, though it must be withheld pending formal scholarly publication of the discovery.

Following decipherment of the primary inscription, it became clear that more inscriptions, though badly worn, are located to the left and to the right of the doorway. It is hoped that with additional funding these inscriptions can be cast as well, giving us a better understanding of one of the more enigmatic archaeological monuments in the history of Jerusalem.
Tomb of Absalom Jerusalem
Tomb of Absalom
The copyright holder is Ariel Horowitz

Pillar of Absalom

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