During June 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted in a rock-hewn burial cave in Kafr Bara (Permit No. A-3929*; map ref. NIG 19675/67020; OIG 14675/17020), which had been damaged when the area was being prepared for the construction of a factory. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by M. Masarwa, with the assistance of N. Distenfield, A. Hajian and V. Essman (surveying and drafting), T. Sagiv (photography), Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass), O. Shorr (glass restoration) and C. Hersch (drawing of glass vessels).
The cave (Fig. 1) was discovered along the western fringes of the antiquity site in Kafr Bara, on a dirt road that connects Kafr Bara to Kafr Qassem. It was severely damaged and its western part was destroyed. The cave’s main burial chamber (L500) was preserved and a burial kokh was hewn in each of its northern and southern walls (Loci 501, 502). A hewn opening in the eastern wall led to another burial chamber (L503; diam. 1.5 m, height 1.1 m), where a two-course high stone wall that was probably built to retain the crumbling bedrock wall, was discovered. A layer of alluvium (thickness 0.5 m), which had accumulated on the floor of Chamber 503, contained the glass finds (below). Otherwise, the artifacts recovered from the cave included disintegrated bones, a discus-like oil lamp from the Roman period (second century CE; Fig. 2) and small metal fragments that could not be identified.
The Glass Vessels
The glass artifacts comprised thirteen glass vessels, two of which were complete (Fig. 3:1, 3), and thirty body fragments that could not be identified. The finds are well-known from funerary assemblages in the country and date to the latter part of the Roman period and the beginning of the Byzantine period (fourth century and beginning of fifth century CE). The finds included a globular jar of pale green glass; it has a wide rim with an open fold below it and three handles and it is adorned with turquoise trails (Fig 3:1); a kohl tube of pale blue-pale green glass (Fig. 3:2) and a double kohl tube of glass that ranged in color from pale green to olive green on the base, decorated with trails the color of the vessel (Fig. 3:3). Four more fragments of the lower part and a rough handle from another double kohl bottle were found among the vessel fragments, as well as two rims of a beaker/bowl, decorated with turquoise trails, a delicate everted rim of a beaker/bowl, a funnel-like bottle rim and a bottle’s rim, folded-in haphazardly.