Stone Clearance Heap (Rogem; Fig. 1:I). A large heap of fieldstones (14 × 18 m, height 5 m) was found. It contained stones that were cleared when the nearby area was prepared for cultivation. Apart from the walls that delimited the clearance heap no evidence of ancient construction was discerned.
Hewn Basin (Figs. 1:II; 2). An irregular shaped rock-hewn installation (L11; diam. 1.5 m, depth 1.4 m), which slightly widened on its western side toward the bottom, was excavated c. 7 m north of the stone clearance heap. Several trough-like rock-cuttings were hewn around the basin (Loci 15–18; length 1 m, width 0.5 m, depth 0.25 m). No signs of plaster were traced in the basin or the rock-cuttings, which were probably used to process agricultural produce or employed in some other domestic capacity.
Columbarium Cave (Figs. 1:III; 3, 4). A funnel-shaped cave (ceiling diam. 2.25 m, floor diam. 1.25 m, height 2 m), preserved in its entirety and hewn in relatively soft stratified bedrock, was discovered c. 60 m northeast of the stone clearance heap. The cave opening (L20; 0.8 × 0.8 m, depth 0.5 m) was a square shaft, hewn from surface to the center of the ceiling. A breaching from the side of the cliff probably occurred after the cave was abandoned.
Four levels of columbarium niches were hewn along all of the walls of the cave, in keeping with bedrock stratification, from a height of 0.4 m above the floor to the ceiling. Each level consisted of 15–17 niches (width 0.3 m, height 0.3 m, depth 0.25 m). Some of the niches in the upper level were connected together, forming a kind of shelf.
Although no datable artifacts were found, the cave should probably be ascribed to the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods. Similar caves are known at sites around Jerusalem, as well as near this cave (A. Kloner, Survey of Jerusalem, The Southern Region, p. 142, Site 90; Survey of Jerusalem, The Northwestern Region, p. 31).
Rock-hewn Installation (Figs. 1:III; 3). A small section of a stone floor (L25) that abutted the wall of a rock-hewn installation was discovered below a fill of agricultural soil. A very small part of the installation (1 × 2 m), which precluded defining its nature, was excavated. The recovered pottery fragments included holemouth jars from Iron II (Fig. 5). The site should be regarded as part of Bet Lehem’s agricultural hinterland.
Watchman’s Booth and Storage Cave (Figs. 1:IV; 6). A rectangular building (4 × 5 m, max. height 1 m) was exposed c. 15 m south of the columbarium cave. The building was partitioned by a wall into two rooms and overlaid a natural cave (4.0 × 4.5 m, height 1.7 m). No datable artifacts were discovered. It seems the building and the cave were used to guard and store agricultural produce.