During January 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted along the northwestern slope of the village of Nein (Permit No. A-4090*; map ref. NIG 2330/7260; OIG 1830/2260), after ancient remains were revealed while digging foundations. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by E. Amos, assisted by V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying).
A hewn pit and a staircase were exposed in the soft limestone bedrock beyond the limits of the ancient village.
The pit (L3) was hewn in the high western part of a bedrock outcrop (depth c. 2 m, thickness of ceiling c. 0.4 m; Figs. 1, 2). Its square opening (L1) was sealed with medium and large fieldstones (Fig. 3). A few potsherds, including body fragments of vessels that dated to the Roman period, were found in the upper part of the pit.
East of the pit were three hewn steps that led to its opening (L2; Fig. 4). The staircase probably led to a burial cave with a shaft in an earlier phase, which was later adapted for use as a pit with the shaft as its opening.