Jewish Limestone Ossuary

Holy Land, Roman Period, circa 1st century BC-last century AD. 15"h x 25"w x 11"d. Earthy red painted exterior with incised motifs on one side. Used in the practice of ossilegium, a secondary burial in a box like this one. After the soft tissue had decomposed, family members collected the deceased's bones and placed them in an ossuary in the family tomb. This was designed to ensure the purification of the deceased's soul. They were also frequently used when burial space was scarce.