During May 2009, a section of a cave that had been damaged by development work was cleaned and documented in the Buchman Compound in Modi‘in (Permit No. A-5666; map ref. 2006/6430). The documentation, undertaken on behalf to the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Shlomo Cohen Construction Company, Ltd., was directed by P. Spivak, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), A. Peretz (field photography), V. Eshed (physical anthropology) and M. Shuiskaya (drawing).
A section in a karstic cave, located on a limestone slope, was documented. The cave's original opening was destroyed by development work and the preserved line of the opening was irregular. Three strata (1–3; Fig. 1) were identified in the cave; the bottom layer was ascribed to the Chalcolithic period and two upper layers dated to later periods.
A survey conducted in the region in 2002 (HA-ESI 118
) recorded dozens of caves, as well as a single prehistoric site, c. 500 m east of the cave. The remains documented at that site dated to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods. Other remains from the Chalcolithic period were exposed in excavations nearby (HA-ESI 117
, HA-ESI 119
, HA-ESI 122
; Permit Nos. A-5551, A-5622).
Stratum 3 was a layer of very light brown and compact soil, overlying bedrock. It contained many potsherds of coarse clay and bone fragments from the Chalcolithic period, as well as large fragments of clay ossuaries (Fig. 2) and many pieces of bones nearby. The bone fragments were small and could not be identified; however, it is likely they were connected to the ossuaries. The ossuary fragments suggest that the cave was used for burial in the Chalcolithic period.
Stratum 2 consisted of black soil mixed with large fieldstones and animal bones. Most of the bones were twisted and crushed beneath the large stones. No potsherds were discovered and it seems that the collapse resulted from the cave-in of the roof.
Stratum 1 was light brown soil mixed with fragments of animal bones, ceramic body fragments and a few small fieldstones. The worn potsherds were of orange, fine-grained clay and probably dated to a late period. This seems to be an alluvial layer that was deposited in later periods. A level of small stones was noted at the bottom of the stratum, but in the absence of an excavation it was not possible to evaluate its nature or date.