The upper part of the cave entrance—the top of the shaft—is irregularly shaped, and its lower part was in the form of a shaft (L101; width 1.2 m, depth 1.1 m; Figs. 2, 3) that descended into the cave on a westward slope. A few Early Roman and Byzantine potsherds deriving from alluvial soil were found in the upper part of the entrance. In the entrance to the cave, at the bottom of the shaft, were large stones, possibly a deliberate blockage that was breached by the antiquities’ robbers.
The cave was found full almost to its ceiling with accumulated alluvium (L102), in which antiquities’ robbers had dug pits. A trench was excavated along the cave’s north wall (width 1.5–2.0 m), and another trench was dug along its west wall (wide c. 1 m; Figs. 4, 5). The two trenches were excavated down to the bedrock floor of the cave, except for an area up to 1.5 m west of the cave entrance where the bedrock drops steeply eastward. As the alluvial accumulation on the southeast side of the cave was not excavated, the cave’s plan in this part was reconstructed based on the upper part of the wall, visible near the ceiling, above the alluvium. This estimation points to an elliptical cave (c. 5.0 × 8.5 m, 1.7–2.0 m high near its north and west walls).
A rock shelf (max. width 0.5 m, length 2.2 m, height 0.7–1.1 m), probably a burial bench, was hewn along the cave’s north wall above the cave floor (Figs. 2, 4). Two rounded tunnels (0.3–0.4 m diam., 1 m and 1.4 m long) were quarried into the northwest wall near the cave’s ceiling (Fig. 6); their function is unclear. Four handles and large body fragments of jars from the MB II (Fig. 7) were recovered from the alluvial accumulation. A handful of very small fragments of Roman- and Byzantine-period pottery was also found, as well as a flint item—a double-end scraper produced on a blade of the local Mishash Formation flint (Fig. 8)—a type which was produced from the Upper Paleolithic through the Chalcolithic periods. A broken limestone basin (0.4 × 0.7 m, 0.25 m thick; Fig. 9) was found near the entrance to the cave, in an area disturbed by robbery; it may have been part of the blockage at the entrance to the cave, which was breached by the robbers.
An opening in the ceiling at the south end of the cave was found to led to a tunnel linking the cave to another rock-hewn cave (map ref. 223964/633386), whose entrance is located c. 11 m to the south of the entrance to the excavated cave. The southern cave, which is hewn at roughly the same level as the excavated cave, was found plundered. It had a square entrance with a straight lintel (Fig. 10) and a square chamber with straight walls. It may be a later cave, and while being quarried the workers accidentally cut into the south part of the excavated cave. Judging by the northward slope of the alluvial accumulation, it would seem that the alluvium filling the excavated cave washed into the wide entrance to the southern cave and slid into the excavated cave through the breach between the two caves.
Although its architectural features and finds are meager, the cave can be attributed to MB II; it was plundered in antiquity, even before it became silted up with alluvium. This is the first evidence of Middle Bronze Age burial in the immediate vicinity of Mount Scopus, and it may indicate the existence of a burial field from this period on the hill’s east slope, which has never been excavated.
Nevertheless, a limited number of finds from the Middle Bronze Age have been discovered to date in the Mount Scopus area. At the Dominus Flevit Church, c. 2 km southwest of the excavation area, a burial cave rich in grave goods from the MB II and the Late Bronze Age was uncovered (Saller 1964). Pottery and metal items from MB II, apparently found in tombs on the Mount of Olives, were documented by Warren (1884: Pls. XLV:19–21; XLVII:26–30), Watkins (1981:122–126, 130) and Weill (1918:740, Fig. 8). Two MB II daggers were discovered on Mount Scopus as well (Maeir 2000:47; Maxwell-Hyslop 1946:26; Watkins 1981:142, 146). Their provenance is unknown, but based on the results of the current excavation they may have been found while robbing a burial cave.
During the archaeological survey of the hill country of Benjamin, two multi-period archaeological sites with MB II pottery were identified near the excavation area: Kh. Ras es-Sheikh ‘Anbar (c. 800 m to the east) and Kh. Harabet ‘Uda (c. 1 km to the northeast; Dinur and Feig 1993: Sites 446, 448). These sites may have some connection to the burial cave explored in the current excavation.