Elaborate ossuary of "Joseph son of Caiaphas"

UnknownHerodian period, 1st century CE

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel

Joseph son of Caiaphas was the Jewish high priest from 18–36 CE. He is known chiefly for his involvement in the arrest of Jesus as described in the New Testament.

The Caiaphas family burial cave was discovered in southeastern Jerusalem. This is the most elegant of the 12 ossuaries found inside. The full name of the deceased – "Joseph son of Caiaphas" – appears twice. The name and the chest's elaborate decorations suggest that this was indeed the ossuary of the Caiaphas from the New Testament.

"Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered." (Matthew 26:57) (Aramaic)


  • Title: Elaborate ossuary of "Joseph son of Caiaphas"
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Herodian period, 1st century CE
  • Location: Talpiot, Jerusalem
  • Type: Ossuary
  • Rights: Israel Antiquities Authority
  • External Link: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Medium: Soft limestone
  • Exhibition: Cradle of Christianity, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, Spring 2000 - Winter 2001
  • Dimensions: L: 74; W: 29 cm
  • Curator: Mevorah, David

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