During December 2005, a salvage excavation was conducted at a dolmen site near Moshav Had Nes (Permit No. A-4642; map ref. 2605–13/7595–9), prior to the expansion of the Moshav. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by H. Bron, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), H. Tahan (pottery drawing) and H. Khalaily (flint artifacts).
The dolmen site of Had-Nes is situated on a basalt slope near Nahal Meshushim, on the western fringes of the Golan Heights. Of the 14 dolmens or elements suspected as such, discerned at the site, ten were destroyed by and during development work.
Four dolmens were excavated (1, 9, 11 and 13; Fig. 1), although Dolman 13 was destroyed beyond recognition. Very sparse ceramic and flint finds were recovered from the excavation, pointing to an early date of the dolmen field, perhaps toward the end of the Early Bronze Age.
Some of the dolmens show evidence of reuse, perhaps as watchman’s huts, during the Roman or Byzantine periods.
Dolmen 1 was severely damaged and its covering stones were broken up and shattered over a wide area. Following the controlled removal of stone debris, a stone- filled burial chamber, aligned east–west, was exposed (length 4 m, width 0.5 m; Figs. 2, 3). The chamber was constructed from upright large basalt stones (W302, W303); the blocking stone on the eastern side remained in situ. A partially preserved floor of small and medium-sized stones (L301) was exposed at a depth of 0.7 m below surface. The chamber was devoid of any finds that could aid in dating the dolman and the small stones in the vicinity of the dolmen indicate it may have been covered with a tumulus.
Dolmen 9 was badly destroyed and only part of its stone floor was discovered (Figs. 4, 5). The walls of the structure, which were entirely dismantled, had survived by their depressions in the floor.A few potsherds of jars (Fig. 6:1, 2), which probably date the use of the dolmen to the end of the Early Bronze Age or the beginning of the Intermediate Bronze Age, were discovered on the floor.
Dolmen 11 was not initially identified as a dolmen. A circular wall (W103; length 6 m; Figs. 7, 8), built of large basalt stones, was visible on the surface and a few potsherds, including a jar (Fig. 9:1), a jug (Fig. 9:2) and a juglet base (Fig. 9:3) that dated to the Roman period, were recovered from the top soil. These probably indicate that the structure was visible and perhaps used in this period. Along the southern side of W103 and 0.7 m below it, a structure that consisted of two burial chambers was exposed. The burial chambers (L102, L108; length 3 m, width 1.5 m, preserved height 1 m; Fig. 10) were aligned east–west and had a floor of thin flat basalt paving stones. The structure was built of flat basalt stones and a large amount of small round basalt stones adjacent to it implies that it was originally covered with a tumulus. The soil that overlaid the floor of the burial chambers contained bowl fragments of the EB period (Fig. 9:4, 5).
A second, higher floor (L107), which resembled the lower floor (L110), was placed in the northern chamber (L108); the date or function of this later floor is unknown.
A well-preserved flint fan scraper (Fig. 11) was discovered in the layer between the two floors in L108; it points to a date not later than Early Bronze III for the use of the burial chambers
The excavation at the dolmen field at Had Nes recorded, in spite of the massive damage, some of the surviving dolmens in the area and even dated two of them.
The excavation adds a little more information to the large dolmen field, which possibly extended from Qaz
rin to H
ad Nes; some of the dolmens that were excavated closer to the Qaz
rin area may have been part of it (HA-ESI 121
Two of the dolmens could be dated, in spite of the very meager amount of material, to the end of the Early Bronze Age and into the beginning of the Intermediate Bronze Age. The sparse amount of Roman pottery indicates the secondary use of the dolmens during this period.