Joshi, our guide at the Nazareth Village, points out something at the grave site on the premises.
For some reason, there are many caves in the hills and mountainsides in Israel. A good many of them are used as tombs. The first such tomb that we read about in the Bible is the Cave of Machpelah, bought by Abraham from a Hittite (Gen. 23:20). The practices and processes I will describe here, are what was generally followed.
There was never a hard and fast rule laid down, for burial. Bodies could even be cremated. That the men of Jabesh-Gilead burned the mutilated bodies of Saul and his sons is not spoken of as a desecration, but as part of their loyalty to their overlord (I Sam. 31:9–13; II Sam. 2:5). There is no command that people must be buried, but a curse will be "Thy carcasses shall be food unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth" (Deut. 28:26). So, good is to be buried and bad is not to be buried, while burning of dead soldiers after the battle, is a practice even in old Egypt as I have once read.
A cave like the one in the picture would suffice. Royalty and rich people would enlarge the tomb to take more family, maybe with some carving as basic decoration. Archaelogical finds have been made of surface tombs built for the purpose. The Silwan necropolis serves as an example.
The entrance of the tomb is fitted with a shallow gully, in which the round stone that covers the opening of the tomb is rolled, to open and close the entrance.
In general the body should be entombed the same day. No rule, but good practice given the general warm temperature in Israel. The body is fully clothed (not enbalmed) and treated with herbs and spices. Probably to keep the smell at bay, for as long as possible. The body is placed in the tomb and the 'door' will be closed. Someone will check regularly for three days, to make sure that the dead is dead. Then the body is left to nature and after a year the tomb will be opened. The remaining bones will be placed in a coffin. The coffin is cut from stone, with a stone lid. The length of the coffin is long enough, to accommodate a femur. More than one person's bones could be placed in the coffin. The coffin is placed in the tomb and it is closed, until the next customer arrives.
This year of waiting for rot to do its job, is in modern days translated into a mourning period. I have no source for this statement, but it could be. In the BIble we read that a young man wanted to follow Jesus and was welcomed to do so. He then said that he still has to bury his parents - and was most likely referring to the secondary burial that still had to take place.
The Cave of Machpelah is now within the city limits of Hebron, which is a Palestinian dominated city. This ancient burial place, serves as another flashpoint between Israeli's and Palestinians. The reason is that Abraham is recognised as religious forefather by both the Jews and the Islam. Whoever is in control makes it difficult for the others to pay their respects.