In Part I of this post I presented images of the exterior of the tomb of Annas—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. Today I present some images of the interior of this tomb that is actually much better preserved than its exterior. Click on the images to view high-resolution versions—and save if you wish.
In the lower portion of the image there are three openings that lead into long chambers into which bodies of the deceased were placed (loculi; singular loculus). The Ritmeyers have suggested that Annas the High Priest was actually buried in the central chamber! Above the central chamber please notice the carvings in the rock representing doorposts, a lintel, a gabled (triangular shaped) roof.
At the very top of the image note the finely carved rosette pattern!! There are 32 petals in this magnificently carved rosette. This rosette is unique except for a smaller one in the back room of the so-called Tomb of Absalom AND a very large one in the Double Gate that leads into the Temple Mount Complex!!
Notice the fine details carved into the stone wall: the gabled roof pediment, lintel, the door posts, the acroterion(!), and the molding.
At the very top of the image note a small portion of the finely carved rosette pattern!! AND, in the upper left portion of the ceiling the outline of a large carved acanthus leaf (there was one in each of the corners of the ceiling within this tomb. In the lower right quadrant, where the two walls meet, note the vertical carved pilasters and also the molding on the walls where they meet the ceiling.
There are 32 deeply carved petals in this rosette. This rosette is unique except for a smaller one in the back room of the so-called Tomb of Absalom AND the larger one in the Double Gate that leads into the Temple Mount Complex!!
To view additional images of both the interior and exterior of this tomb Click Here.
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.