During September 2003 a trial excavation was conducted in the southern courtyard of the school that belongs to St. George’s Church (Permit No. A-3979*; map ref. NIG 67137/18256; OIG 17137/13256). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by R. Avner, with the assistance of V. Pirsky and L. Barda (surveying) and T. Sagiv (photography).
The excavation area (2.1 × 2.5 m) revealed three rock-hewn cist tombs (Fig. 1), which were not excavated. However, it seems they were part of the burial field from the Byzantine period that had previously been excavated near the Ministry of Justice building, on Ṣallaḥ ed-Din Street (HA-ESI 113:75*–76*).
The first tomb (L104; length over 1.27 m, width 0.53 m) extended beyond the western boundary of the excavation. The fill that had accumulated in the hewn cist and above the three covering slabs (0.36 × 0.48 m; 0.44 × 0.54 m; 0.47 × 0.64 m) was excavated. The eastern part of the western slab had been placed partly on the middle slab and was broken lengthwise.
The second tomb (L105) was next to the southern boundary of the excavation and continued beyond it (length unknown, width 0.58 m). The fill in the cist was excavated but the covering slabs were not found.
The third tomb (L106) was discovered near the northern boundary of the excavation and continued beyond it (length unknown, width 0.5 m). The fill in the cist was excavated but the covering slabs were not found.