Nicanor Cave

Nicanor Cave

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The Cave of Nicanor is an ancient burial cave located on Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus , جبل المشهد , جبل الصوانة) is a mountain in northeast Jerusalem. In the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Mount Scopus became a UN protected Jewish exclave within Jordanian-occupied territory until the Six-Day War in 1967...

 in Jerusalem, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.
Excavations in the cave discovered an ossuary
Ossuary
An ossuary is a chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary...

 referring to "Nicanor the door maker." The cave is located in the Botanical gardens on the grounds of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

. Outside the cave is a hewn rectangular courtyard.

This form of burial caves is typical of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 period. Four burial halls of burial, each with a number of niches. In the passages between the halls rock depressions indicate that the entrances were decorated with stone slabs, a phenomenon unique to this cave.

A fifth burial cave is not linked to the rest of the halls, opening to the right of the front yard, on the eastern side of the courtyard.

Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 pottery found at the bottom of the shafts in the yard and two crosses engraved on the wall of the main room, show that use of the cave continued until the Byzantine period.

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.

National Pantheon


In 1934, the remains of Leon Pinsker in Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

 were buried in the Nicanor cave at the initiative of Menachem Ussishkin, who envisaged a national pantheon cemetery on Mt. Scopus. However, the only other person buried there was Usshishkin himself, who died in 1941. A national leaders plot was established on Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl , also Har HaZikaron , is the national cemetery of Israel on the west side of Jerusalem. It is named for Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism. Herzl's tomb lies at the top of the hill. Yad Vashem, which commemorates the Holocaust, lies to the west of Mt. Herzl....

 after the founding of the state in 1948, in part because Mount Scopus became an enclave in Jordanian occupied territory.

External links


  • Nicanor sarcophagus in the British Museum
    British Museum
    The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...