Three of the mausoleum’s walls were discovered: the northern (W12; 15 m, width 1.1 m, height 2 m), the eastern (W16; length 5 m, width 1.1 m, height c. 1.6 m) and the western (W17; length 7.5 m, width 1.1 m); its southern wall is apparently located beneath a modern residential building. The walls are built of large, well-dressed limestone ashlars. Wall 12, the northern wall, was exposed along its full length. The three walls were abutted by a floor of limestone slabs (L10). Fragments of pottery vessels, including the fragment of a bowl dating to the fourth century CE (Fig. 4:2), were collected above the floor. The pavement was not preserved in the eastern part of the building, where a square, underground burial chamber (L11; 3 × 3 m, height c. 1.7 m; Fig. 5) was discovered. The burial chamber seems to have had two entrances, the remains of which could be discerned in the excavation’s southern balk, with two niches for roll-stones that were probably on either side of the openings. A coin dating to 364–375 CE (IAA 143593) was found on the floor of the burial chamber. Fragments of jars (Fig. 4:3, 4, 7) and a jug (Fig. 4:8) dating to the end of the Late Roman period, as well a glass bowl (Fig. 6; Gorin-Rosen, below), were also found. A burial bench (length 1.9 m, width 0.8 m), c. 0.6 m above the floor level, was exposed on the eastern side of the burial chamber. A rectangular loculus (L14; width 0.5 m, depth 1.7 m; Fig. 7), whose ceiling was only partially preserved, was exposed on the western side of the burial chamber. Jar fragments (Fig. 4:5, 6) dating to the fourth–fifth centuries CE were collected from the floor of the loculus. Presumably, other burial chambers and loculi were situated below the stone pavement in the western part of the mausoleum. A layer of light colored soil (thickness 0.3 m) that served as a bedding for a lime-plaster floor was found above the floor of the mausoleum. The mausoleum can be dated to the fourth century CE on the basis of the ceramic and numismatic finds.
A poorly constructed wall (W13) that predated the mausoleum was discovered c. 1 m north of W12. Several pottery sherds, including a fragment of a Roman-period bowl (Fig. 4:1), were found in its vicinity. A floor of another mausoleum (7 × 7 m) was identified some 20 m west of the mausoleum, but it was neither excavated nor documented.
Large Glass Bowl
A large fragment of a bowl rim and two large fragments of a bowl base were found in Burial Chamber 11. The glass is a bluish-green in color and covered with hard, sandy encrustations and patches of silverish, black and iridescent weathering. The diameter, the quality of the material and the morphological features, all suggest that the pieces belong to the same bowl, even though the rim and base could not be connected (Fig. 6).
The rim is folded broadly outward and downward, ending in another upward fold that is affixed to the wall of the bowl. The base is made of a thick glass coil, attached to the bottom of the vessel; manufacturing marks are still visible on the base. The rim was c. 44 cm in diameter and the base was c. 22 cm in diameter, half that of the rim. This is without doubt a large and shallow bowl.
Similar bowl rims were found among the vessels in the glass workshop at Jalame, which dates to the second half of the fourth century CE; such bowls were defined as “bowls with a folded collar” (Weinberg and Goldstein 1988
:48, Fig. 4–7). Bowls with similar bases were defined at jalame as “bowls with a solid base ring” (Weinberg and Goldstein 1988
:58, Fig. 4–20). Bowls of this type are typical of the end of the Late Roman period, and are known from both funerary and settlement assemblages, as well as from the Jalame glass workshop.
In addition, a single fragment of a glass vessel was found in the excavation; it was distorted by heat and could not be identified.
A mausoleum, built of ashlars and dating to the Late Roman period (fourth–fifth centuries CE), was exposed. The structure is indicative of a vast and magnificent necropolis situated east of the village’s ancient nucleus, indicating that a wealthy settlement existed nearby at the end of the Late Roman period.