Two squares were excavated (50 sq m; Fig. 2). In Sq 1 (Fig. 3) a thin layer of earth and small stones (about 0.2 m) covered the bedrock. In this layer pottery was found from the Persian, Roman and Mamluk periods. On top of this layer were the foundations of a modern road. In the bedrock a trench was cut for a water pipe associated with the early years of Kibbutz Gevat.
Square 2 (Fig. 4) was opened 4 meter north of Sq 1, on a lower level than the road. This area was previously occupied by a farm shed. After is demolition a large flat area became exposed whose surface was lower than the original height of the bedrock. In the square a cave was found. The size of the cave is not totally clear, because the ceiling collapsed and the southern part of the cave was disturbed. The preserved height of the cave was about 1.8 meter. It was 5 meter wide and probably not more the 5 meter long. Only the northern half of the cave was excavated, and the floor was reached only in the eastern part of the excavated section. The ceiling already collapsed before the Roman period. The limestone bedrock was very soft, as seen also in one of the previously excavated caves, where the walls were plastered, probably to prevent the collapse of parts of the walls. In the eastern side of the northern wall an opening was visible (Fig. 5). This might be the entrance to the cave or a niche. This part of the cave could not be excavated due to safety concerns.
Following the collapse of the cave, it filled up with earth and stones. In the fill pottery was found dating from the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman period. The accumulation was homogenous throughout all parts of the cave that were excavated except for a grave that was dug into the filler in the center of the cave.
This grave was apparently disturbed, the bones were not articulated. The human remains were not excavated. In the close proximity three almost complete cooking vessels were found. The cooking vessels dated to the Early Roman period. A Persian period arrowhead (Fig. 6:1) and an earring (Fig. 6:2), both made of bronze, were found close to the human remains. These artifacts could be associated to the burial, but for the Persian arrowhead this is less likely.
The pottery found in the fill dated to three periods. The Persian pottery includes mortaria (Fig. 7:1, 2), a jar with a straight shoulder (Fig. 7:3) and other jars (Fig. 7:4–7). The Hellenistic period pottery includes a body sherd of a mold-made bowl (Fig. 7:8) with a wine tendril and palm leaf decoration and two cooking pots (Fig. 7:9, 10). The Early Roman pottery includes three cooking pots (Fig. 7:11–13). In the context of the burial three Early Roman cooking vessels were found, a casserole (Fig. 7:14) and two cooking pots (Fig. 7:15, 16).
The Persian period arrowhead
Kamil Sari
The arrowhead (Fig. 6:1) belongs to the Irano-Scythian type. These arrowheads are triangular, with three wings that are wide at the base, and meet at a point. Such arrowheads have been found at sites along the borders of the Persian Empire: Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor, as well as in Persia, where they have been dated to the seventh century BCE. Similar arrowheads, dated to the sixth–fifth centuries BCE were found in Israel at Nahariyya, Tel Keisan, Shiqmona, Tel Megadim and Ashdod.
This type is found in many archeological excavations along the Mediterranean coast; in Paphos they were dated to the Persian siege of 498/7 BCE, while the latest finds are from Persepolis, where they were dated to the fifth and fourth centuries BCE.
Similar arrowheads from Tel Michal were analyzed by metallography, and it was determined that this type was cast in the ‘lost wax’ technique directly in closed molds, without any later thermo-mechanical treatment.
In this excavation a cave and a burial were found. Both elements were found in Sq 2, in Sq 1 no archaeological remains were found except for potsherds. The cave can't be dated, but the ceiling collapse before the early Roman period. It has a niche or entrance in the northern wall. The burial can be dated to the Early Roman period because of the three almost complete cooking vessels. The Persian arrowhead got probably mixed up with the earth covering the burial.