In April 2013, preparation work in advance of an excavation was carried out south of Horbat Dagesh and north of Shomeriyya, to the north of Be’er Sheva‘ (Permit No. A-6674;map ref. 18904/59368), as part of a project initiated by the Negev Archaeological Education Center. The work, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by T. Erickson-Gini (photography), with the assistance of R. Zechariah and the participation of school children from Shomeriyya. The project was discontinued once potential ancient tombs were discovered.
The area planned for excavation lies c. 200 m south of Horbat Dagesh, on the northern perimeter of the village of Shomeriyya (Fig. 1), where rock-hewn features could be discerned. The site of Horbat Dagesh has not been excavated, but it may contain the ruins of a Byzantine-period village (fourth–seventh centuries CE). By clearing the vegetation, bedrock outcrops and a carved rectangular installation (length 1.7 m, width 0.5 m, depth 0.5 m; Fig. 2) were revealed. The installation may have been prepared as a grave or used as such; no finds that could indicate its use or date were discovered. The installation may be part of a burial complex located outside the ancient village of Horbat Dagesh. However, further investigation is required in order to understand the site and its surrounding area.