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Sacrophagus Fragment of Lead with elaborate floral and leaf decoration.
Among the waried ways for burial of the dead, Sarcophagus (or coffins) were used by the Jews, these being made of the metal lead. Since lead is a soft metal, it could easily be molded into elaboralely decorated containers, or sarcophaguses for the interminl of deceased loved ones. This type of burial took place after the second century C.E. primerial. Early forms of burial included large clay containers. Also as in the case with Jesus' burial, he was wrapped in fine linen packed with spices. Later burials after the flesh had decayed away the remains of the dead, that is the bones, were gathered up and placed in an 'assuary' or 'bone box,' and placed in a nitch inside a stone burial cave.
In the sace of Jesus however, at his resurrection, all that was found in the cave where he was intered, were the burial clothes and a small piece of material which covered his head. (See John 19:40-42)

2001-2002 Museum of Biblical World