The excavation (8 × 11 m) was conducted at the western foot of a hill. Part of a large building (Figs. 1, 2), which probably served as an installation rather than a dwelling, was exposed. The rooms of the ancient building and the area around it were utilized in a later phase for burial and the excavation was suspended upon the discovery of tombs. The building was severed by the wall (W13) of a modern building that was partially uncovered. Previous excavations at the site exposed remains that indicated the existence of an ancient settlement (HA-ESI 109:55*–56*).


The Building

The plan of the building consisted of at least four rooms (A–D). The main room (A; 2.8 × 3.0 m) had thick walls (W7, W8, W10, W12; 0.65–0.70 m) built of roughly hewn fieldstones that were set widthwise. Some of the walls were founded on bedrock; others were built on a foundation of small fieldstones and preserved 2–3 courses high. Two layers of gray plaster were applied to the inner faces of the walls. The bottom layer

(thickness 3–4 mm, 10 mm thick in corners; Fig. 3) contained a large amount of gravel, small pebbles and bits of carbon. It was deeply incised to provide better adhesion for the upper plaster layer (thickness 2–3 mm). A doorway (width 0.5 m) whose doorjambs were coated with a single layer of plaster was discovered in the middle of W8. It led to an elliptical room (B; 1.5 × 2.8 m) whose walls were also coated with a single layer of gray plaster (thickness 3–5 mm). A niche (0.30 × 0.35 m) in the eastern wall of Room B was preserved 0.2 m high. The northern side of Room B was slightly damaged by the construction of W13.

Two other entryways were found in W12. One was in the middle of the wall (width 0.7 m) and the other, at its northern end (width 0.4 m). The two entryways were coated with one layer of plaster like that discerned on the exterior face of the wall. The thresholds of both entryways protruded beyond the line of the wall. They were probably the remains of channels that led to Room A or passages from Room A to another room on the west, which was destroyed during the development work. The middle entryway was blocked by two stones in a later phase.

The exterior of Wall 7 was coated with two layers of plaster. At its eastern end, it formed a corner with W10, whose southern section enclosed Room C, which did not survive. The narrow excavated strip in Room C along W7 revealed a plaster floor on top of a straightened bedrock surface. A small section of Room D, whose complete plan could not be determined, was discovered east of Room A. It was delimited by W10 to the west and the northern exposed end of W14 to the north.


The Tombs

Twelve tombs aligned east–west, six in Room A and six on the surface south and east of the room, were discerned. The walls of the tombs were built of small fieldstones bonded with lime mortar and covered with stones slabs, some were found in situ. The tombs were usually placed next to one another, but some were built over an adjacent tomb, indicating possibly that the cemetery was used over a prolonged period.