When it comes to ancient and pre-modern burials much information is derived from archaeological excavations. Most often, these are salvage excavations, occurring in sites where urban development takes place, and underlying vestiges—be these buildings or tombs—have to removed from the ground in order to be saved.
The excavation of Jewish burial grounds is a complex and sensitive issue. In principle, current Jewish religious law (halakha) prohibits the movement of human remains from their resting place, although exceptions do exist. In recent decades salvage excavations of Jewish cemeteries often end with the reburial or renewed covering of the human remains found therein, in collaboration with Jewish religious authorities around the world.
The Archaeology section of the PEACE portal will be developed in the coming years. It will include systematic sets of data related to archaeological excavations of Jewish burial sites, as well as information about ancient and medieval cemetery forms, and artifacts related to funerary culture, such as sarcophagi and shrouds.