The ruin is situated on the chalk hill west of the village. Architectural elements, building stones, wall remains, rock-hewn tombs and caves were found. Most of the finds are not dated. In addition, a scatter of flint tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Epipalaeolithic periods was found on the surface.
An archaeological excavation was previously conducted at the site, exposing an archaeological horizon rich in flint tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Epipalaeolithic periods (Yaroshevich 2013
[A-5706]; Fig. 1). In the current excavations, a rectangular burial cave hewn in the chalk bedrock (Permit No. A-5689) and the cave’s forecourt was excavated; its rolling stone was exposed at the entrance (
Permit No. A-5976; Figs. 2, 3). The cave is dated to the Late Roman period (third–fourth centuries CE) on the basis of ceramic artifacts discovered in it.
For safety reasons, after part of it was destroyed while preparing the area for paving the road, mechanical equipment was used to remove the cave’s roof prior to the excavation. A rectangular courtyard (L108) hewn in soft limestone led to the cave from the northwest; the northern part of the courtyard was destroyed by the earthmoving work. A hewn recess (L112) in the courtyard’s eastern wall was blocked over the years with soil mixed with many small stones. A rock-cut step (L109; 0.5 × 1.1 m; height 10 cm) leading to the cave opening was located at the southern end of the courtyard. A rolling stone (diam. 1.2 m, thickness 0.25 m; Fig. 4) that could be shifted to the east along a track (length 0.5 m) was installed at the entrance to the cave. The eastern part of the track was hewn in the bedrock outside the cave; the western part was well-built with medium-sized limestone blocks inside the cave. A rock-hewn corridor (L102; height c. 0.9 m) led from the courtyard to the cave’s interior by way of a rock-hewn step (L105; height c. 0.25 m). A ceramic coffin (L107; 0.25 × 0.50 × 1.77 m; Fig. 5), without a lid and filled with soil, was found on the floor (L104) of the cave. The coffin was not excavated. A burial bench (L101) was hewn in the southern wall, opposite the entrance, c. 0.4 m above the floor. Another burial bench (L103), c. 0.2 m above the floor, was hewn in the eastern wall. A pit (L106; 1 × 1 m, depth 1 m) hewn between the two benches in the cave’s southeastern corner might have been intended as a bone repository; however, no bones were found in it, perhaps an indication that it was never used.
The pottery sherds recovered from the excavation of the cave and courtyard included bowls (Fig. 6:1–4), cooking pots (Fig. 6:5–9), jars (Fig. 6:10–16) and a lamp fragment (Fig. 6:17) dating to the Late Roman period (third–fourth centuries CE).
Even though the cave was found sealed with a rolling stone, no complete pottery or glass vessels were discovered in it, nor were there any human bones. As the ceramic coffin was not excavated, it was impossible to determine whether it was ever used, contained a single burial, or was plundered in the past. The ceramic artifacts date the cave to the Late Roman period (third–fourth centuries CE).
Upon completion of the excavation, the cave was covered with concrete, and the road was shifted to the northeast.