During July 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted at Abu Ghosh (Permit No. A-3931*; map ref. NIG 2105/6345; OIG 1605/1345), in an area slated for the setting of a sewer course. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Abu Ghosh Local Council, was directed by I. Zilberbod, assisted by V. Pirsky (surveying).
A burial cave was discovered alongside the proposed sewer route; only its courtyard was excavated. A later quarry was exposed to the northwest of the cave (Fig. 1).
The bedrock-hewn courtyard (L3; 2.5 × 2.5 m) was survived by its northern wall and façade. The entrance to the cave, decorated with a stepped frame (L8; width 0.5 m, height 0.68 m), was hewn in the façade (height 1.1–1.5 m).
A three-stepped slope, beneath a fill of arable soil and small stones, was discerned in the quarry. The upper step was hewn north of the cave (L2; 2.5 × 2.7 m). The middle step (L4; 2 × 5 m, height 0.5 m) cut the northwestern part of the cave’s courtyard. Two severance channels (L5––length 1.15 m, width 0.2 m, depth 0.21 m; L6––length 1.9 m, width 0.2 m, depth 0.18 m) were discovered in the middle of the cave’s courtyard.
The bottom step (L7; 0.5–1.5 × 6.0 m, height 0.75 m) was west of the cave and beyond the area of the courtyard.
Fragments of jars, dating to the Byzantine period, were discovered in the soil fills.