In the News: Zechariah's Tomb?

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Zechariah's Tomb?

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Found beneath the church were Roman era ruins, caves and tunnels used during the Bar Kokhba revolt in A.D. 132, coins, pottery, stone vessels and lamps. It is purported to have been a memorial structure built over the tomb of Zechariah, the prophet who lived around 500 B.C., as marked on the famous Madaba Map, a mosaic map of the Holy Land on the floor of a sixth-century church building in Jordan.

The site was previously identified, but not yet excavated. Some suspect it may also have been the home of Zechariah and not just his burial place. Further excavation might verify this theory (Hugh Collins, "Archaeologists May Have Found Tomb of Prophet Zechariah,", Feb. 2, 2011).

However, as Todd Bolen of points out, "Given that the sources for this appear to date nearly 1,000 years after Zechariah’s death (c. 500 BC), it may be best to regard this as a dubious Byzantine tradition"—at least for the time being ("Byzantine Church Revealed at Khirbet Midras,", Feb. 2, 2011).