Prof. Kloner has kindly sent along his 27 page report published by Bar Ilan University on the Talpiot tomb for which I thank him. It’s in Hebrew but for non readers it also includes an English abstract-
Burial Cave 1050 in East Talpiot, Jerusalem
Amos Kloner and Boaz Zissu
The East Talpiot burial cave was uncovered at a construction site and examined relatively quickly, within a short and clearly insufficient time, on 16 April 1981, as part of excavation permit no. 1050. The archaeological team found that the cave comprised of nine kokhim which contained primary burials (or inhumations – the skeletons lied supine) and eight ossuaries, inserted in antiquity into four of the kokhim. The kokhim which contained the ossuaries also contained some scattered bones of earlier burials. It was clear that the bone collection was not done properly and later generations did not take great care with their predecessors’ remains. The cave belonged to a Jerusalemite family during the second half of the first century BCE and the first century CE.
The cave contained the burials of at least 21 individuals of different ages and it can be assumed that the total number reached up to 26 individuals. The human remains were badly damaged by the ultraorthodox and by the construction workers, and when the ossuaries were finally inserted back into the kokhim on top of the inhumations, they were placed without knowledge of their original locations.
In the opinion of the present authors, all of the hypotheses and proposals that were made recently, connecting the cave findings to early Christians, to Joseph of Arimathea, to Christian apostles, or to a community of Jewish-Christians – are unsubstantiated.
- Yigal Levin’s Report on the ‘Fish Tomb’ Conference (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Kloner Contra Simcha- Again (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)