Between Beit Aryeh and the village of Abud is the quarrying site of the ancient Jewish village of Abud. The quarry operated during the second Temple period; during the Roman period, it was instrumental in the construction of the necropolis, the cemetery that served the wealthy members of the community.

At the site, there are over 20 gravesite niches carved into the rock, some of which are very ornate. Their splendor is reflected in the artistic decorations chiseled in the shape of grapes, pillars, leaves and more. There are also rare portions of colorful frescoes. This site is one of five opulent burial plots in Samaria. Additional burial plots of similar grandeur are located in Jerusalem, especially in the Kidron Valley.

How do researchers know that Jews were once buried here? The first proof is the pieces of ossuaries (secondary burial chests containing the bones of the deceased) that were found in the graves. The custom of transferring the bones to ossuaries was unique to the Jews. In addition, the variety of plant-themed and geometric decorations and the lack of figures or faces hints to the fact that those who were buried at the site were not idol worshippers. Also, it is known that this region was inhabited by Jews during that period. Among the other discoveries that shed light upon the lives of the Jewish inhabitants of that period is an escape cave from the days of Bar Kochba’s rebellion, containing coins minted during the years of the rebellion with Hebrew inscriptions.

Abud Quarry.jpg