In January 2015, an excavation was conducted southeast of Umm Khaled in the Ben-‘Ami neighborhood of Netanya (Permit No. A-7323; map ref. 187550–655/692618–725; Fig. 1), following the discovery of graves and prior to covering them permanently. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Netanya Municipality, was directed by V. Eshed (physical anthropology and field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), C. Ben-Ari (GPS), R. Mishayev and R. Liran (surveying and drafting), H. Torgë (pottery) and Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass).
Ten graves aligned in an east–west direction (Fig. 2) were discovered over an area of c. 14.0 × 34.5 m. All of the graves were cist tombs built of local kurkar. Their walls were constructed of one or two courses, and they were covered with two or three stone slabs (Figs. 2, 3). Two of the graves (L4, L8) were opened, documented and covered again.
Tomb 4 (0.65 × 2.20 m, height 0.38 m) contained the remains of a single individual lying on its right side with its head in the west, facing south. The hands of the deceased were placed on the pelvic area (Figs. 4, 5). Judging by the cranial morphology, the individual was a male; he is estimated to have been between 35 and 45 years of age at his death based on the extent of dental erosion. No funerary offerings were discovered in the tomb. A single individual was interred in Tomb 8 (0.6 × 1.8 m, height 0.35 m). The deceased was lying in an east–west direction with its head at the western end of the grave. The bones of the upper limbs were damaged when the stone covering slabs collapsed into the grave. Nevertheless, it was possible to discern that the individual was lying on its right side with its arms clasped on the pelvic region. Two opaque green glass bracelets were discovered around the bones of the right arm (Fig. 6). The delicate morphology of the long bones and the pelvis’ morphology indicate the deceased was a female (Bass 1987
:93–258); she was 18–25 years old at her death based on the extent of dental erosion (Hillman 1986
:176–201). The bracelets date the burial to the Mamluk or Ottoman period. Fragments of pottery vessels were also found in the excavation area. They range in date from the Roman period to the Ottoman period, and originated from the ancient settlement at Umm Khaled.
Bass W.M. 1987. Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Manual (3rd ed.). Columbia.
Hillson S. 1986. Teeth. Cambridge.
Masarwa D. 2014. Netanya, Ben-‘Ami Neighborhood. HA-ESI 126