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Title: Kokh  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sandstone, Petra, Tomb
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A rock-cut tomb or koka is a burial chamber that is cut into the living rock usually along the side of a hill. It was a common form of burial for the wealthy in ancient times in several parts of the world.

Important examples are found in Egypt, most notably in the town of Set Maat which is located between the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.[1]

Other notable clusters include numerous rock-cut tombs in Israel, at Myra in Turkey, Petra in modern Jordan, and Larnaca.[2]


A kokh (plural: kokhim, Hebrew: כּוּךְ) is a type of tomb complex characterized by a series of long narrow shafts, in which the deceased were placed for burial, radiating from a central chamber. These tomb complexes were generally carved into a rock face, and were usually closed with a stone slab and had channels cut into the centre of the shaft to drain any water that seeped through the rock.

A kokhim complex survives at the far west end of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, Israel. The Church wall runs through the centre of the complex, and the remaining two thirds no longer exist. Many more kokhim can can be found throughout the Judean foothills

See also

  • Rock-cut tombs in ancient Israel


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