Photos: A Bronze Age Burial with Headless Toads

Bronze Age cemetery

Bronze Age cemetery

(Image credit: Bronze Age cemetery)

An aerial photo shows the place where archaeologists found more than 60 ancient graves in a Bronze Age cemetery in Jerusalem.

Leftovers from a funerary feast?

Bronze Age cemetery

(Image credit: Zohar Turgeman-Yaffe, Israel Antiquities Authority)

In one of the rock-cut tombs, archaeologists made a rare discovery: a jar full of bones from nine headless toads. The toads had been decapitated before they were buried with the dead, possibly as a way to prepare the animals to be "eaten."

Shaft burial

Bronze Age cemetery

(Image credit: Shua Kisilevitz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

The jar was found inside a narrow tomb that had been sealed for thousands of years.

Intact jars

Bronze Age cemetery

(Image credit: Shua Kisilevitz, Israel Antiquities Authority))

One poorly preserved skeleton was found on its back inside the burial chamber, among intact jars and other ceramic vessels.

4,000-year-old feast?

Bronze Age cemetery

(Image credit: Shua Kisilevitz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

An archaeologist shows a ceramic jar being brought out of the tomb, for the first time in 4,000 years.

Intact pottery

Bronze Age cemetery

(Image credit: Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Vessels full of food were common offerings during funerals of this period.

An offering for the afterlife

Bronze Age cemetery

(Image credit: Clara Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority)

People often buried the dead with objects or offerings that could serve them during their passage to the afterlife.