In October 2017, a salvage excavation was conducted on a low, eastern bank of Nahal Tamar (Permit No. A-8118; map ref. 232600/545300). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Mekorot Water Company, was directed by T. Erickson-Gini (field photography) with assistance from Y. Haimi and E. Alajem (aerial photography, surveying and drafting).
The excavation site is located c. 2 km west of the southern end of the Dead Sea and a few meters west of Highway 90 (Fig. 1). The area was heavily damaged in recent decades by the insertion and subsequent removal of a minefield, as well as by the laying of a utility line.
The excavation investigated five stone concentrations (L100–L104; c. 0.5 × 1.0 m) set in a line along a general north–south direction (Fig. 2). Two of the concentrations (L100, L104) seem to be the remains of tumulus graves. The other three appear to have been graves, but as there were no definitive finds this could not be determined with certainty. Two modern black Gaza ware jar sherds were discovered in Concentration 103.
Grave 100, located at the northern end of the line, appears to have been an early type of a tumulus, possibly from the Early Bronze Age. It contains a burial cell (0.5 × 1.2 m, depth 0.5 m; Fig. 3) built of three intact courses of large wadi pebbles (Fig. 4). The tumulus was robbed out, with no finds other than two pieces of a human skull in the debris.
Grave 104, at the southern end of the line, may be an early tumulus (diam. c. 1.2 m) as well, but it was heavily robbed out (Fig. 5); nevertheless, at least one stone on its northern edge appears to be a grave marker.
A later grave (c. 0.3 × 0.3 m), probably modern, was dug into Grave 104. It contained small bones, probably of a small child.
The site appears to have been part of an ancient burial ground, as evident by the two tumuli. The rest of the graves indicate a reuse of the grounds for burial in modern times by the local Bedouin population, as suggested by the black Gaza ware from Stone Concentration 103.