Annas was a very influential High Priest (AD 6–15) whose sons, and later son-in-law, Caiaphas, succeeded him in that office. Annas is mentioned in the New Testament in Luke 3:2; John 18:13, 24; and Acts 4:6.
One of the most richly decorated tombs from the Second Temple Period is located on the southern slope of the junction of the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys.
This is the area that some have called “Akeldama” or the “field of blood” that is associated with events surrounding the death of Judas. In 1994 Leen and Kathleen Ritmeyer published an article suggesting that this special tomb may have been that of one of the High Priests mentioned in the New Testament and elsewhere.
The above images show a view looking south at the exterior of the tomb. On the right (west) side of the image notice the two semi-circular niches (for mourners/visitors?). The entrance to the tomb has been heavily quarried/destroyed. Notice the decorative partial shell conch over the now-almost-destroyed entrance to the tomb.
In the image above, remnants of an engaged column (pilaster) are visible as are two apses—possibly used by mourners and/or visitors.
Standing in front of this tomb, looking north, one has a clear view of the Temple Mount—where Annas and his descendants had served.
For a detailed description of this, and other tombs in the area, as well as the logic that this is the tomb of Annas, please seen the article by Leen and Kathleen Ritmeyer, “Akeldama: Potter’s Field or High Priest’s Tomb?” Biblical Archaeology Review 20 (1994): 23-35, 76, 78.
In the next post — images of the magnificent interior of this tomb!
It is sad that this lovely 1st century tomb has been allowed to deteriorate.
Now the tomp is closed with an iron and you can not go in. But it is worth visiting!
Thanks for the update!
Do you know if Leen or someone else has produced an artistic rendering of what it might have looked like in its original state?
An image of Ritmeyer’s reconstruction of the exterior of the tomb is in the BAR article that I cited or on his website at https://www.ritmeyer.com/product/image-library/buildings/tombs/annas-tomb/
Good morning! I have followed you for a number of years and always love getting the photo’s! I’ve never stopped long enough to say thank you, so I am doing so now.
Your images bring the Word to life and aid my study so much. I’ve been wanting to make a trip over (with my youngest daughter) for the past several years, but now we will wait and see if or when that will happen,
I also have followed the Ritmeyers for many, many years and am currently reading a rather recent book on the Temple mount location, that seems a reasonable possibility, by Christian Widener.
Again, thank you from an appreciative reader!
Thank you for taking the time to write, Monia! I am glad that you have found the posts useful.