What is…

Aramaic: חקל דמא —meaning: field of blood

also known as: Akeldama, Akel Dama, Hakeldama, Hakel-D'ma, Hak ed-damm, Ḥaqel D'ma, Ἁκελδαμάχ (Greek), Hakeldamach

This is the name which the Jews gave in Aramaic to the field which was purchased with the money which had been given to Judas, the betrayer of our Lord.

The word means “field of blood.” It was previously called “the potter’s field” (Matthew 27:7-8; Acts 1:19), and was appropriated as the burial-place for strangers.

It is believed to lie on a narrow level terrace on the south face of the valley of Hinnom. Many ancient burial caves (Jewish-type sepulchres) have been discovered in this area, as well as a layer of bones and debris many feet thick.

A Greek Orthodox monastery was built at this site in the 1800s. Earlier the site was owned by the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem (aka Armenian Patriarchate of Saint James) of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Article Version: August 8, 2019