Sites 39–41 and 43 comprise ten elliptical or circular tumuli (diam. 3–6 m, max. preserved height 1 m; Figs. 2, 3). They were built of a peripheral wall of limestone slabs quarried at Har Harif, which enclosed medium-sized and large fieldstones and an accumulation of alluvium in between. The tumuli were located on the southern slopes, near the summit of Har Harif. Because they were constructed on a slope, their southern part was higher so as to compensate for the difference in elevation. Usually, a single burial cell was constructed in the center of the tumuli. One tumulus at Site 40 was an exception: it contained two built burial cells, one of which was divided into two small compartments. The walls of the burial cells were built of stone slabs set on a base of flat fieldstones (Figs. 4, 5). All of the burial cells were discovered open, and their covering slabs were scattered, except for one cell, at Site 39, where one covering stone remained in situ. A cist grave built on a bedrock ledge was discovered near Tumulus 41. All of the burial cells were devoid of finds.
The tumuli are part of an extensive tumulus field at Har Harif, part of which has been previously studied (Cohen 1999:226); much of this field is located beyond the border. The burial cells in the tumuli that were examined in the past were also discovered empty, probably due to the custom of bone gathering. In addition to the tumuli, the field included structures dating to the Intermediate Bronze Age (Cohen 1999:226–228) and it should probably be dated to that period.
Site 42 is an encampment that comprised a stone heap that may be a ruinous tumulus, a massive wall and a cluster of three round buildings. The massive wall was built of limestone and founded directly on bedrock; it was preserved to a height of one course (0.5 m; Fig. 6). Several non-diagnostic flint items were discovered on the bedrock. The three round buildings (diam. 3.5–4.0 m; Fig. 7) were situated c. 20 m from the wall and survived to height of one course (c. 0.3 m). The buildings enclosed an elliptical courtyard (diam. 5 m) and were constructed atop alluvium that had accumulated on the bedrock. Flint items were recovered from the soil when sifted.
Site 45 (c. 700 sq m; Fig. 8) comprised settlement remains extending between two spurs that descend toward the southeast, near the confluence of two streambeds that merge into a tributary of Nahal Loz; the site was undermined by one of the streambeds. Since the streambeds flood during winter, it seems the site was inhabited only in spring and summer. Three main occupation phases were identified, separated by the accumulation of alluvium as a result of flooding. The southern part of the site was damaged due to the declination of the surface to the southeast, making it difficult to differentiate between the phases of the settlement. The thickness of the sediment covering the bedrock in the northwestern part of the site was 1.1–1.5 m, but only 0.8 m in the southern part of the site.
The earliest occupation phase was built on the bedrock, which was probably mostly exposed. It consisted of a round, stone building (diam. c. 8 m; Fig. 9) containing many hearths. A layer of soil that extended throughout the site and yielded rich remains of organic material (Fig. 10) was unique to this early phase. Radiometric analyses of charcoal samples collected from two hearths provided two dates: 6200±40 (5295–5045 BCE after calibration) and 5785±53 (4715–4545 BCE after calibration). A diverse assemblage of flint items was uncovered while excavating the center part of the settlement. Most of the flint implements are ad hoc tools, among them denticulated scrapers and retouched flakes. Tabular scrapers (Fig. 11) and transverse arrowheads (Fig. 12) were also found. The most impressive find comprises 44 polished bifacial tools (Figs. 13, 14), mainly axes. One of the axes still bears remains of the adhesive material used for hafting (Fig. 15); the material is yet to be examined. Additional axes were discovered in the survey and the other excavations conducted as part of this project. Such a high incidence of axes in the southern Negev is remarkable. Similar finds were discovered at two other fifth-millennium BCE sites at Har Harif (Rosen 1984; Forenbaher 1995). The radiometric analyses and flint artifacts date this phase to the Late Neolithic period (sixth millennium BCE) and Early Chalcolithic period (fifth millennium BCE).
Several round stone buildings (diam. c. 2 m), consisting of many hearths, are attributed to the second occupation phase. The structures were built on a layer of gravel and loess that had accumulated on the remains of the early phase. The head of what seems to have been a complete human figurine was found amongst the collapsed stones (Fig. 16). Made of soft limestone, its eyes are represented by indentations, it has an elongated nose and the mouth is a slit formed by a horizontal line.
Six round stone buildings (diam. c. 4 m) whose walls were constructed on a gravel deposit and were preserved four courses high (0.7 m) are ascribed to the late occupation phase. An elongated enclosure wall (c. 70 m) that delineated the site from the south should probably be attributed to this phase as well. The wall dammed the streambed that passes through the site, resulting in the formation of a flat alluvial fan. Several non-diagnostic flint items and grinding stones were exposed, as well as a pottery vessel that has an imprint of a mat on its base. This vessel dates the late occupation phase to the Early Bronze Age I and II.
The site was used as a Bedouin encampment in the modern era.
Site 47. Numerous flint items were collected on a rocky hill. Many of the items were gathered on the hilltop; therefore, it seems that the items were produced on site. Other flint items were collected along the hill’s moderate western slope, as far as the border fence. The finds consist mainly of large amounts of debitage, three polished axes and a transverse arrowhead dating to the sixth and fifth millennia BCE. Other items collected on the hill include basalt grinding stones and a mortar and a granite grinding stone. Fieldstone-built installations, grinding stones and flint tools were discovered on a low terrace on the western slope of the hill and along the hill’s southern slope. An enclosure built of large fieldstones that was preserved to a height of one course and might be modern was also found on the western part of the hill. Remains of buildings, installations and two agricultural terraces were visible west of the hill, beyond the border. Agricultural terraces located near the hill are probably still used today. A rock shelter (Fig. 17) was identified on the eastern part of the hill. Three iron plows (Fig. 18) concealed in a crack in the bedrock were discovered, as well as flattened rifle cartridges (9 mm), pieces of iron wire and a teapot lid that were left behind by Bedouin nomads. A crack between two huge boulders, located on the western side of the hill, was converted for use as a storeroom by an enclosure wall built of large fieldstones (c. 0.2 × 0.3 m; Fig. 19), four–five courses high. Clothes and refuse were discovered in this storeroom. Three Maẕẕevot arranged in a row (stone dimensions: 0.35 × 0.80 m, 0.45 × 0.80 m, 0.48 × 0.73 m; Fig. 20) were discovered in a streambed c. 50 m from the storeroom.
Site 48 consists of remains of installations and an animal pen (Fig. 21) on the western slope of a hill, near a Maẕẕevot identified in a preliminary survey of the hilltop. The animal pen was enclosed within two walls, one of which survived three courses high and the other—one or two courses high. Approximately 30 m from the pen was a semi-circular building (width 2.4 m; Fig. 22), with a large rock in its center. The enclosing wall was constructed of rocks (height 0.55 m); it comprised an opening (width 3.1 m). Two massive walls were also exposed at the site. One on top of a bedrock ledge and a double stone wall; this might be a line temple.
A large flint scatter (c. 490 sq m; Figs. 23, 24) was discovered further down the hill, toward the southwest; 156 sq m were excavated. Much of the area had been damaged by mechanical equipment working at the site. The majority of the flint scatter is situated beyond the border. The density of flint items at the site is high, consisting of hundreds of items per square meter. The items date to the Epipalaeolithic period and belong to the Geometric Kebaran culture. The finds include scores of bladelet cores (Fig. 25) and knapping debitage. The most common tools are geometric microliths, such as rectangles or trapezoids (Fig. 26), bladelets that were discovered in the thousands, and coarser tools, such as scrapers and a retouched tool (Fig. 27). Remains of a calcareous material were preserved on some of the items; it may have been used for hafting. The finds indicate that a large encampment inhabited by people of the Geometric Kebaran culture was situated at the site. A geomorphologic study revealed that flint lenses of the Grofit formation are the source of the raw material. As this formation appears in the region of Har Harif, it seems that the raw material was quarried in the vicinity of the site.
Site 49. Numerous flint items from the Upper Paleolithic period are scattered along a saddle between two hills near the Nahal Loz canyon (Fig. 28). The density of the items increases toward the west. The new border fence passes through the site. The flint items include many blades, some of which have a curved profile, and an el-Wad point (Fig. 29). The raw material utilized by the flint industry at the site was derived from the flint lenses of the Grofit formation. Several pink and pale red items were observed, which were probably produced from flint exposed to heat; it is unclear whether the heating was intentional. Two areas (12 sq m, depth 0.4 m; 2 sq m, depth 0.9 m) were excavated at the site; only two fieldstones, one bearing fragmentation marks, and two flint items found beside it (Fig. 30), were exposed. It seems that the soil was mostly sterile and that the flint items penetrated into it due to a post-sedimentation process.
Several installations, hearths and stone heaps belonging to a modern Bedouin encampment were observed in the vicinity of the site. Iron wire, plastic beads, sandals and rags were also discovered.