The descent to the cave was via six steps (width 0.18–0.33 m, height 0.22–0.29 m). Its opening was arched (max. height 1.53 m, width 1.15 m) and a concave recess for a round rolling stone (height 1.3 m, width 0.3 m, depth 0.65 m) was discerned in its northern side. A narrow rock-hewn surface, probably used as a courtyard (L70A), was situated north of the stepped descent to the cave. West of the bedrock surface was a level of dark earth that contained potsherds from the first century BCE, including a bowl (Fig. 3:1) and jars (Fig. 3:2–4).
The cave had an irregular elliptical shape (max. dimensions, north–south 5.13 m, east–west 4.2 m, max. height c. 2.7 m).
Four phases of use may be reconstructed in the cave.
First Phase. The cave was apparently used as a ritual bath (miqwe). This is indicated by a staircase in the front of the cave and a plastered basin (width east–west 1.4 m, min. length north–south 2.8 m) that remained in its bottom. The bottom steps in the staircase, which descend from the cave opening to the immersion basin on its floor, were removed during the later periods. No datable finds were discovered; however, based on the ritual baths that were discovered in the Judean Shephelah, it seems that this one was installed during the Second Temple period. Another miqwe was excavated several dozen meters to the southwest (‘Atiqot 53: 167–168).
Second Phase. The cave was used for burial, based on the bones discovered in the northern part of the plastered basin at the bottom of the cave, which was the reason behind the incomplete excavation, and the recess for the circular rolling stone located in the cave’s opening, which is typical of burial caves (and not miqwa’ot), and could possibly indicate a deliberate adaptation of the cave for burial.
The bones were crushed and brittle; articulation could not be discerned. It is possible that the burial in the cave was not intentional, and the bones were contained in fill that was brought into it. Initially, it seems that the cave was not used for burial, due to its great depth and the plastered basin at its bottom. This phase was also devoid of datable finds.
Third Phase. The cave was used as a charcoal kiln. The surface of the cave was covered with a thick layer of ash and small pieces of charred wood from mastic trees. Below the ash layer was a hard layer of lime, probably a result of dissolving bedrock and stones by the intense fire. The sides of the cave were also scorched and apparently, the continuation of the staircase that descended from the opening of the cave to the basin at its bottom was consumed by the operation of the kiln. This charcoal kiln joins others, which had been excavated and surveyed in the Judean Shephelah in recent years; it is indicative of charcoal industry that was widespread in this region of the country.
Fourth Phase. Built steps that descended from the opening, with a slight inclination to the north, were installed on top of the ash layer. A row of large stones was built on the edge of the steps along the northern side of the cave. A pavement of small fieldstones abutted the wall and it seems that the cave was used as a dwelling or served for storage in this phase (‘Atiqot 53:164). No potsherds or other features that can aid in dating this phase were discovered. A stone blockage was built to the full height of the cave, up to its ceiling in its southern part; therefore, the function of the cave was probably twofold: the southern part was blocked with stones that were cleared from the surrounding area, which was prepared for cultivation, while the northern part was used as a dwelling or for storage.
A 'suspicious' line in the bedrock, visible on the surface, was examined with the help of a backhoe several meters northwest of the cave. Rock-cuttings, whose nature is unclear, were discovered.
A bedrock cliff with an elongated recess beneath it that looked like a large cave was inspected several meters southwest of the cave. The cliff extended for a distance of at least 10 m and neither its northern nor southern end was visible. Alongside the cliff were layers of soil fill that contained a few archaeological finds, including fragments of pottery vessels, bones and charred wood. A deep probe trench was dug in the fill but did not reach its bottom. A rock-hewn cupmark (upper diam. 0.55 m, depth 0.45 m) that was identified as an installation (‘Atiqot 53:163) was located 6 m south of the staircase in Cave 70. A short double wall, aligned north–south (length 2.8 m, width 1 m), protruded from the surface between the cupmark and the cave.