In the area west of the railroad tracks, sections of two aqueducts, remains of a terracotta pipe and numerous tombs were uncovered. An aqueduct (exposed length c. 20 m) leading to the northwest, built of kurkar and limestone stones, was revealed in the northern part of the area. In the southern part of the area, another aqueduct, which ran to the southwest, was exposed along c. 5 m. Ashlar-built tombs were unearthed alongside the aqueducts. Also uncovered in this area were two segments of a terracotta pipe that was founded on tamped earth and were enclosed between two walls built of kurkar and limestone. The graves of more than forty deceased were discovered in the area’s upper layer of soil, in which individuals, pairs and groups of three and four deceased were interred in the ground without any gravestone or marking of any sort. These graves presumably date to the Ottoman period.
In an extensive area excavated east of the railroad track, numerous Roman-period tombs were documented. The following twelve main burial clusters demonstrate the diversity of tomb types exposed in the excavation.
1. Three ashlar-built tombs aligned in a general east–west direction with stone heaps piled above them (Fig. 2). Juglets missing their necks, which served as funerary offerings, were discovered in the tombs and among the stones in the heap. Two ashlar-built tombs laid along a general north–south axis were found nearby; animal bones were discovered alongside them.
2. A rectangular funerary structure surrounded by a curved wall. The tomb was constructed with ashlar stones and architectural elements in secondary use, among them a kurkar gravestone engraved with a relief of a gabled temple. Circular stone heaps were exposed above the funerary structure. Animal bones as well as weapons, iron rings and fragments of clay coffins were discovered between the stones.
3. An ashlar-built cist tomb, in which three deceased were buried one atop the other. The bottom and middle individuals were identified as men, 20–40 years of age; glass vessels dating to the first century CE were discovered alongside them. The individual on top was identified as a female; a coin from the early fourth century CE was found near her skull.
4. Mausoleum. The structure’s walls were founded on a layer of sand. The building includes a central chamber and loculi. The latter were filled with dark alluvium, in which pieces of plaster, frescoes and several unidentified bones were discovered. Two coffins with the remains of individuals identified as men, 20–40 years of age, were discovered in the central chamber.
5. Numerous pit graves, clay coffins covered with roof tiles and a single ashlar-built tomb. A concentration of glass vessels dating to the second–third centuries CE and a cooking pot containing cremated human bones covered with jar sherds (Fig. 3) were discovered alongside the tomb.
6. Several circular stone heaps. A square stone, at the top of which is a smoothed depression (for libation?), was exposed on top of one of the heaps. Another square stone that may be an altar (Fig. 4) was discovered at the edge of another stone heap, located north of the first heap.
7. A coffin (Fig. 5). Above its eastern part was an upside-down bowl containing the bones of a small mammal, very likely a rabbit. A cooking pot containing cremated human bones was discovered beside the coffin.
8. An ashlar-built cist tomb covered with architectural elements and decorated with molded plaster.
9. Jar burials alongside stone-lined pit graves. Three small glass bottles dating to the second–third centuries CE were discovered on one of the individuals in a pit grave. A clay coffin covered with roof tiles and a round stone altar were found nearby.
10. An individual buried in a large stone heap. A cooking pot containing ash and remains of burnt matter was discovered alongside the deceased. A built shaft was revealed in the center of the heap, beneath the burial. This was probably a well that was, but it was excavated to a depth of only 2 m or so due to technical constraints. Another tomb was discovered beside the well, beneath the stone heap; nearby was a layer of sand, containing faience beads and a metal bracelet.
11. A built and plastered tomb. A fragment of a marble gravestone bearing a Latin epitaph inscribed with the name of a soldier from Legio VII Claudia was discovered near the tomb (Eck and Tepper 2005).
12. A mass grave containing the remains of at least sixteen individuals placed side by side and sometimes one on top of one another, as well as perpendicular to each other. On top of the uppermost individual was a hoard of forty-four silver tetradrachm, the latest of which dates to the reign of Hadrian (118 CE).
The excavation revealed a large necropolis, in which dozens of graved from the Roman period were uncovered, among them built tombs, pit graves, funerary structures, cremations, burials in clay coffins and ceramic vessels and a mass grave. Some of the tombs were covered with a stone heap. Many graves were dug into earlier strata dating to the Hellenistic and Persian periods. The graves yielded funerary offerings, particularly burial juglets that were deliberately broken and placed in the tombs and in the stone heaps covering them. In addition, stone altars and animal bones were discovered, indicating that pagan rituals were practiced there. A preliminary analysis of the sexes and ages of the deceased reveals that a homogenous population of males, 20–40 years of age, was interred in the Roman-period tombs. The women and young individuals that were buried at the site comprise a minority; their interments are ascribed to the later phases of the necropolis. On the basis of the finds it seems that the Roman-period cemetery was used from the mid-first century CE until the early fourth century CE. When the cemetery was no longer used, it was covered over with dark silt, possibly a result of Nahal Na‘aman having flooded. It seems that soldiers of the Roman army were buried at the site alongside a pagan population from Colonia Claudia Ptolemais, which was established in ‘Akko-Ptolemais by Roman army veterans in 53–54 CE (Tepper 2010).