1796 - 1864
Entrance to the Tomb of the Kings

Subscription edition & first edition lithographs in stock
Half plate: 7
Presented in a acid free mount

Original hand-coloured lithograph for the first edition of David Roberts’ The Holy Land.
Published by F.G. Moon & Son, London 1842-49.

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This remarkable sepulchre, strongly resembling those of the Egyptian Thebes, is the finest relic of the kind in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Its present name has been long given
by the Europeans, from a vague conception of its being the burial-place of some of the Jewish monarchs. From the elegance of its front and the general beauty of its sculpture, it has been compared with the sepulchres of Petra, and thence conjectured to have been the work of Herod, whose descent was Idumean. But the weight of evidence inclines to its being the tomb of Helena, Queen of Adiabene, who had become a convert to Judaism.


The sepulchre lies to the north of the Damascus Gate, and at a short distance from it, on the slope to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The portal was originally twenty-seven feet long, but it is now much broken away. The sides of this portal were ornamented with columns or pilasters ; and there were two intermediate columns, now broken down, which divided the front into nearly three equal parts. The rock above is richly sculptured in the later Roman style. The sepulchre consists of a large square pit sunk in the solid rock.

In the western wall of this sunken court is a hall also excavated in the rock, thirty nine feet long by seventeen wide, and fifteen high. To this belongs the portal just mentioned. Within this hall is the entrance to an ante-chamber, and within this again are three large and two smaller chambers containing the fragments of marble sarcophagi.