A burial cave was documented in January 2001 along the southern fringes of Beit ‘Ur et-Tah
ta (map ref. NIG 20803/64447; OIG 15803/14447) after it was breached by grave robbers. The documentation, on behalf of the Archaeological Staff Officer of Judea and Samaria, was conducted by Y. Peleg, assisted by P. Portnov (surveying and drafting) and M. Manukian (drawing).
The burial cave was hewn toward the top of the dome’s southern slope, over which the village is situated (Fig. 1). It consisted of two chambers that were oriented north–south and whose walls were coated with a light-colored plaster. An arched entrance (0.5
× 0.5 m) in the cave’s facade was flanked by a dressed square frame (0.81 × 0.98 m) that was meant to accommodate the blocking stone, which was discarded in front of it. One step (height 0.25 m) descended from the entrance to the fore burial chamber (2.81× 2.93 m, height 1.06–1.84 m). Two arched loculi
(A, B––0.55–0.75 × 1.90 m, depth 0.55–0.65 m) were hewn in the chamber’s western wall; the initial quarrying of another burial niche (C) was noted. The chamber’s ceiling was flat and sloped southward. A square entrance (0.5 × 0.6 m) was hewn in the middle of the chamber’s northern wall, leading to the rear burial chamber (2.81 × 3.17 m, height 1.89 m), which was at a lower level than the fore chamber. Five loculi
(D–H; 0.48–0.66 × 1.82–2.21 m, depth 0.55–0.65 m) were cut into the walls of the rear chamber, whose ceiling was slightly arched. Loculi
F and G were partially cut beneath the fore
burial chamber and each was accessed via a step (0.12 m, height 0.14 m) that led down from the level of the rear chamber. The southwestern corner of Loculus
H connected with the corner of Loculus
A in the fore burial chamber. The accumulations inside the cave included a few pottery fragments, dating to the end of the Second Temple period (1st century BCE–1st century CE; Fig. 2).