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Biblical Archaeology Review 46:3, Summer 2020

Strata: Where Is It?

Where Is It?

A. Israel

B. Iraq

C. Syria

D. Uzbekistan

E. Iran

Answer: (B) Iraq

Topped with a conical dome, the traditional tomb of the prophet Ezekiel is situated in al-Kifl, Iraq, on the Euphrates River about 20 miles southwest of Babylon. Although the earliest reference to this tomb appears in a tenth-century C.E. text, the tradition of Ezekiel’s burial in this area goes much further back. In the sixth century B.C.E., the prophet and other exiles were taken from Judah to Babylon. Ezekiel 3:15 recounts that some lived in a settlement called Tel Abib by the river Chebar.

By at least the 12th century, a synagogue stood next to the tomb. In the 1300s, a mosque was built around both of them. Although these structures were maintained, they eventually needed serious repairs. Beginning in 2008, the complex was closed for renovations, during which the synagogue and tomb were incorporated into the new al-Nukhailah Mosque. With the renovations complete, the shrine is open to visitors once more.

Another contender for Ezekiel’s final resting place can be found in Dezful, Iran.

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