Abila of the Decapolis - Tomb H-6
The salvage excavation of Tomb H-6 was directed by Dr. Robert Smith during the 1988 field season; overall work at Abila in Jordan was under the responsibility of Dr. W. Harold Mare. Tomb H-6 was badly disturbed by tomb robbers; it is still very significant because it contained a number of locally manufactured funerary statues, Roman pottery, Roman lamps and two Roman coins.

Tomb Architecture Funerary Busts Artifacts



Contact print image of the H area hillside during the excavation of tombs H5 and H6.
Osteological analysis of the human remains by Dr. Robert Kyle determined that as many as 74 burials took place in tomb H-6. The minimal number of infants/children was 36 individuals and the number of adults was 38 individuals. Specific Fetal/Infant = 15 individuals, Child (age 3 to 10) = 13 individuals, SubAdults (age 10 to 16) = 8 individuals, Young Adults (age 16 to 35) = 12 individuals, O;der Adults (age 45 and older) = 25 individauls and Adult Unknow = 1 individual. Smith (1989) suggests that the tomb was built by a wealthy military family who desired to have the fine decorated basalt door. It was enlarged over the centuries.


Thank you to Dr. David Chapman (Convenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis) and Dr. David Villa (John Brown University) for permission to work with the artifacts and records from the Abila Project. Special thanks to Cheryl Eaton to helping locate the relevant artifacts and records. A nod of appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Robert Smith for his excellent records and careful excavation of the tomb H-6.
Smith, Robert W.
1989 Abila Tomb Excavations 1988. Near Eastern Archaeological Society Bulletin. 32/33:21-42.
Webpage created 5 March 2017
Updated 25 April 2017