Tomb of Absalom

Exploring Jerusalem

The Tomb of Absalom is an ancient, monumental rock-cut tomb in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem. Also known as Absalom’s Pillar, the tomb is part of a burial complex on the Mount of Olives that also includes the Benei Hezir Tombs and Zechariah.

Tomb of Absalom

First, it is worth noting that Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives has been used as a cemetery by Jews for over 3,000 years. It is the largest Jewish cemetery in the world, with over one hundred thousand graves. The Tomb of Absalom is the cemetery’s largest and most famous tomb.

Tomb of Absalom: The Structure of the Tomb

Due to its dome shape, Muslims named Absalom’s Pillar Tantur Fir’aun (Pharaoh’s Hat). The tomb is also a funeral monument (Nefesh) to the burial cave system, the Cave or Tomb of Jehoshaphat, behind it.

In addition, Absalom’s Pillar is approximately 20 meters (66 ft) in height. It stands on a square base and has two distinct parts:  the lower part is a perfectly cubical monolithic block hewn out of stone, while the slightly higher upper part is built of neatly cut ashlars.

Mount of Olives Tour

Furthermore, the monolithic block is separated from the vertically cut rock of the Mount of Olives by passageways on three sides. The block is decorated on each side by pairs of Ionic half-columns, quarter-columns in the corners, and pillars in a distyle in antis arrangement—metopes, a Doric frieze of triglyphs, and an Egyptian cornice crown the four square façades.

In This Photo: Absalom’s Pillar As Seen From the Road Leading to the Old City of Jerusalem.

The upper, ashlar-built part of the monument has three different shaped segments. The lower part is a square base on top of the Egyptian cornice. A round drum crowned by a rope-shaped decoration holds a conical roof with concave sides topped by a half-closed lotus flower. The upper part of the tomb represents the outline of a classical tholos similar to the contemporary Nabatean structures from Petra.


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Touring Holy Jerusalem


Good Samaritan Museum

This is very interesting story

Ehud Netzer

Ehud Netzer is one of the greatest archaeologists of the Land of Israel. His work made a huge leap forward regarding the Herodian period.

Majrase Nature Reserve

Majrase Nature Reserve is the perfect location to cool off during the hot summers. Bring your entire bunch and you'll have lots of fun!


Tabgha is where Jesus fed the multitudes and appeared to his disciples for the third time in the sea of Galilee. It's a must-see site indeed!

Hasmonean Royal Winter Palaces

The Hasmonean royal winter palaces are a complex of Hasmonean and Herodian buildings from the Second Temple period, discovered in Jericho

Private Touring the City of David

In this post, we will go private touring the City of David following the footsteps of Professor Yigal Shiloh's excavations at the Tel.

Pilate Stone

So the Pilate stone is a damaged block of carved limestone with a partially intact inscription attributed to, and mentioning, Pontius Pilate, a prefect of ...

Carmel Market

The Carmel Market is ideal for food lovers! I invite you to explore the Carmel market with my Culinary Tours that I offer daily.

Yardenit Baptismal Site

Yardenit, also known as the Yardenit Baptismal Site, is a baptism site located along the Jordan River in the Galilee region, which is frequented by ...

Herodium National Park

Herodium National Park is a designated national park established to protect and preserve the ancient site of Herodium. The park encompasses a massive complex that ...

Need help?