Six pit graves cut in soft chalk bedrock were exposed in the current excavation. One tomb (L107; Fig. 2) was dated to the late Persian–early Hellenistic periods (fourth–third centuries BCE) and the other five (L109, L121, L126, L128, L230) are probably from the Early Islamic period. A row of medium and large fieldstones (L115) uncovered in the eastern part of the area probably denotes another tomb, although no artifacts were discovered beneath it. A small pit (L124) dug in the soft calcareous bedrock was exposed east of the row of stones; the fill accumulated inside it revealed no finds either. Bedrock devoid of any finds (L101, L123) was unearthed in the middle of the excavation area (Sq B6).
Persian–Early Hellenistic Period (fourth–third centuries BCE)
A tomb (L107; Figs. 3, 4) aligned in a northeast–southwest direction was exposed, yielding a concentration of pottery sherds and at least three bag-shaped jars (Fig. 5:1–3). Jar No. 3 has a distorted rim, and its neck is sunk into the body. The jars were apparently used as burial offerings. Below the jars were the bones of a young individual—two shin bones in the western part of the tomb, alongside small fragments of other bones. Based on the size of the bones and the unfused ends of the bones, the individual’s age is estimated to be 10–15 years (Johnston and Zimmer 1989
:11–22). The tomb may have been connected to a Hellenistic burial exposed on the southern fringes of Tel Meʽammar by A. Druks.
Early Islamic Period (?)
Three tombs were found in the western square (B5). They were hewn alongside each other in the soft limestone bedrock (L100) and were each covered or marked with a row of medium and large fieldstones (L111, L112, L114; Fig. 6). The tombs (L121, L126, L128) contained a soft, gray calcareous fill, below which were human bones.
Tomb 121. Two femurs were found in an anatomically articulated position. The position of the bones indicates that the individual was placed in an east–west direction, with the head in the east (not preserved). According to the size and thickness of the bones, we can conclude that the individual was an adult, over 15 years of age (Bass 1987); its sex could not be determined.
Tomb 126. No bones were found, probably because of the poor preservation state of the tomb.
. Anatomically articulated bones representing an adult individual in a supine position were found. It was laid along an east–west axis, with the head in the east (the cranium was not preserved, but several teeth were found) and the feet in the west. Based on tooth wear, the individual is estimated to have been 30–40 years old (Hillson 1986
:176–201). The individual was probably a male, judging by its stocky femurs (Bass 1987
Two tombs (L109, L130; Fig. 4) similar to those found in the western square were unearthed c. 10 m to the east (Sqs B7 and B8).
Tomb 109. The remains of a pelvis, a lower limb and teeth belonging to an adult individual were uncovered on the southwestern side of the tomb. The bones were found in anatomical articulation, suggesting that this was a primary burial. The deceased was probably interred in a hewn pit, and its remains eroded or slid toward the western edges of the grave. A copper ring (Fig. 7) was found in the northeastern corner of the tomb.
. The tomb was marked with a row of large fieldstones (L105). Human bones representing an adult individual—a skull, part of a lower limb (two tibiae) and bone fragments—were exposed. The location of the bones in the grave suggests that the individual was interred in a primary burial, with its head in the east and its feet in the west. All the skull sutures were open, indicating the young age of this adult individual, estimated at 15–18 years (Bass 1987
:31–60). The thick skull bones and several morphological features suggest that the individual was male (Bass 1987