During July 2003, a trial excavation was conducted along the lower part of the spur where the village of Ibtin is spread out, in the southeastern Zevulun Valley, c. 1 km north of Tel Regev and c. 0.5 km south of Tel Par (Permit No. A-3960; map ref. NIG 2110–6/7414–8; OIG 1610–6/2414–8), prior to paving an access road to a cemetery. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Department of Public Works, was directed by E. Oren, with the assistance of S. Ya‘aqov-Jam (administration) and Z. Horovich.
An entrance shaft to a burial cave hewn in chalk bedrock was excavated at the site, several dozen meters north of a previous excavation conducted by E. Yannai (‘Atiqot 48:9*–14* [Hebrew]).
The shaft (1.07 × 1.10 m, depth 2.3 m) had a square upper part and a round lower part. At the bottom of the shaft was an opening to a burial cave and next to it—a cylindrical stone that had been moved aside. The excavation was suspended before the burial cave could be properly documented. The few ceramic body fragments that were recovered from the fill in the shaft were insufficient to date the cave. However, based on a similar cave shaft located nearby that was ascribed to the Intermediate Bronze Age by its excavator, this cave should probably be dated to the same period.