A salvage excavation was conducted in November 1999 at the foot of Tell Qasile’s western slope (A-3174*; map ref. NIG 18065/66720; OIG 13065/16720) after ancient remains were exposed when development work was carried out. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by E. Ayalon and S. Harpazi Ofer, with the assistance of E. Ayash, U. Zevulun (pottery reading), L. Padrul Kwitkowski (photography), A. Shefer (pottery restoration) and I. Kapelyan (pottery drawing).
At a depth of c. 2 m below surface, a cavity was hewn into the kurkar bedrock, filled with earth and accumulated pieces of broken kurkar. A jar, containing a dipper juglet, was found standing, in situ, inside a niche cut at the bottom of the cavity. A bowl and fragments of another jar (Figs. 1, 2) were recorded nearby; the pottery vessels date to Middle Bronze Age II. Behind the jar was a vertical bedrock partition that protruded from the kurkar bedrock and may have delineated the cavity. Above the jar was a horizontal bedrock ledge that protruded from the kurkar bedrock and may have been used as a cover for the cavity in which the vessels were placed. Previously, burial caves dating to Middle Bronze Age IIA had been discovered in the vicinity of the tell (HA–ESI 111) and it seems that the hewn cavity is the end of a burial cave.