During May 2001 a burial cave was discovered in a grove at the northwestern hilltop side of Har Goderim (map ref. NIG 23655/77250; OIG 18655/27250). The owner of the grove, A. Rachimi, reported the discovery, which was documented by Y. Stepansky and E. Damati, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, with the help of patrol officers from the Zefat police and H. Tahan (glass drawing). The cave was subsequently blocked by unknown individuals.
A burial chamber (1.7 × 2.0 m; height 0.75–0.90 m), hewn in the soft limestone bedrock that is characteristic of the area, was exposed. A fieldstones blockage (length 0.8 m), which probably indicates the existence of other rock-cut niches, was discovered in the southwestern corner of the chamber. A layer of soil (thickness 0.1–0.3 m) overlaid the chamber's floor. A small ossuary (0.34 × 0.60, height 0.28, average wall thickness 2.5 cm) of soft limestone was discovered on top of this layer, near the chamber’s northern wall; its lid was missing and the base was broken. Chisel marks were visible on the ossuary's walls (Fig. 1). A candlestick type glass bottle from the Late Roman period (Fig. 2), two iron rings (diam. 0.1 m) that probably belonged to a wooden coffin and scattered human bones that belonged to 1–3 adults were found next to the ossuary.
The chamber was used for gathering bones in secondary burial and was probably part of a large burial cave that extended southward. It seems that the cave was used during the Late Roman period by the (Jewish?) population in Horbat Badid, located c. 600 m northwest of the cave. At this time, especially during the second–third centuries CE, Jews continued to use ossuaries throughout the Galilee (‘Atiqot 38: 88*, note 7; Eretz Zafon:141–145).