In January 2015, a trial excavation was conducted east of Tel Par (Permit No. A-7306; map ref. 211694–53211/741519–769; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of the Cross-Israel Highway. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Cross-Israel Highway Company, Ltd., was directed by M. Hater, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), P. Gendelman (pottery reading), R. Liran (surveying and drafting), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing), A. Padida (field photography), C. Amit (studio photography), K. Sa‘id and L. Talmi (IAA-Haifa district).
Two areas (A, B) were opened. There were no finds in Area B. A burial cave hewn in soft limestone rock was found in Area A (Fig. 2). It consisted of a corridor, a burial chamber and three burial benches. The corridor was rectangular (L100; 0.9 × 2.2 m) and aligned north–south. Five steps led from the corridor to a sloping floor, and from it to a circular entrance (diam. 0.83 m). The roll-stone was not found, but there was a notch in the rock, in the southeastern part of the entrance, where the stone once stood (L108). The burial chamber was square (L102; 2.3 × 2.6 m, height 2.05 m) and its ceiling was vaulted and sloped slightly toward the eastern and western walls. Burial benches (L109–L111) were discerned in three of the chamber’s wall. The fill in the chamber yielded a red-slipped bowl (LRC), which was imported from Asia Minor and dates to the fifth century CE (Fig. 3:1), and a northern type oil lamp dating to the fourth–fifth centuries CE (Fig. 3:2).
An agricultural installation hewn in the limestone rock (L105; 0.75 × 1.25 m, depth 0.35 m; Fig. 4) was discovered c. 1 m east of the entrance to the cave. Some 10 m north of the cave was a collecting vat of a simple winepress (L106; 0.8 × 1.3 m, depth 0.4 m; Fig. 5), which had a shallow settling pit (depth 5 cm) in its southwestern corner. Hewing marks, possibly remains of the treading floor (L107) were exposed 1.35 m south of the collecting vat.
The finds from the current excavation, taken in conjunction with finds from previous excavations, indicate that the area was part of a farmland belonging to the settlement on the hill. The meager walls that were exposed were not associated with any habitation levels or floors, and were used to delineate the boundaries between cultivation plots.
Peilstöker M. 2000. Horbat Ivtan. HA-ESI 112:27*–28*.
Yannai E. 2004. A Tomb from the Intermediate Bronze Age near the Villgae of Ibtin in the Zevulun Valley. ‘Atiqot 48. (Hebrew, pp. 9*–14*; English summary, p. 150).