During November 2005 a trial excavation was conducted at Khirbat el-Mukheizin (Permit No. A- 4640*; map ref. NIG 18232–7/63459–67, OIG 13232–7/13459–67), after ancient remains were found when a gas pipeline was installed. The excavation, carried out on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Israel Natural Gas-Line Company, was directed by A. Bouchenino, with the assistance of A. Dagot (GPS system), N. Zak (drafting), M Shuiskaya-Arnov (pottery drawing), H. Khalaily (flint implements) and E. Ayalon (guidance).
The site is located in the middle of the coastal plain, north of Qibbuz Hafez Hayim and east of Gedera. It is situated on a poorly drained clayey alluvium. A single excavation square was opened, revealing a mostly ruinous tomb (L101; Fig. 1) that dated to Late Bronze II. A previous excavation had been conducted at the site in 2000 (HA-ESI 115:76*), exposing meager building remains from the Byzantine and the beginning of the Early Islamic periods, along with flint implements that belonged to the Mousterian culture. A Middle Bronze IIA cemetery was uncovered at the site during two excavation seasons (A. Yasur-Landau and M. Gizowska, 2005. A Middle Bronze Age IIA Cemetery at Khirbet Muhayzin. Salvage Excavation Reports No. 2:38–49).
The boundaries of the exposed pit grave were not preserved. Human bones that probably belonged to a single individual were discovered in the grave. A cluster of medium-sized fieldstones was found near the bones. The ceramic finds dated to Late Bronze II and included an in situ broken jar, bowl rims (Fig. 2:1–6), a milk bowl fragment (Fig. 2:7), a jar rim (Fig. 2:8) and the base of a jar (Fig. 2:9). A sickle blade, similar in shape to those from the Iron Age, was discovered in the fill above the level of the burial (L100). It is a broad blade whose both narrow ends were truncated straight and the cutting edge was on one of the long sides. The grave may indicate that the burial tradition at the site, which began in Middle Bronze IIA, continued into this period.