During March 2011, a survey was conducted in Mizpe Ramon (License No. S-248/2011; map ref. 181234–525/502368–691), prior to planning a tourism facility. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Mizpe Ramon Development Company, Ltd., was performed by Y. Haimi (field photography), with the assistance of S. Gal (GPS).
The survey was carried out on foot in the northern and eastern parts of the town, on the cliff of the Ramon Crater and nearby (Fig. 1). The ancient road of Ma‘ale Tzadok passes close by the survey area. Four sites (1–4) were documented in the survey. Several declared antiquities sites are known in the survey area. Remains of a building dating to the Byzantine period and remains of a wall were documented at the site ‘Matzoq ‘Atzma’ut’, located on a hill west of the Ramon Crater cliff. A scatter of flint tools from the Chalcolithic period was documented at the site ‘Ma‘ale Tsadok’, close to the Ramon Crater cliff. Remains of walls and buildings were documented at the site ‘Mizpe Ramon (northeast)’, near the Ramon Crater cliff. A rock shelter was documented at the site ‘Ma‘ale ‘Atzma’ut’, next to the Ramon Crater cliff.
Several rectangular buildings dating to the Early Bronze Age were documented in a survey performed in Mizpe Ramon in 2006, south of the current survey (Permit No. A-4722). In 2007, two of these buildings were excavated (Permit No. A-5263), but no datable finds were discovered.
1. Map ref. 181466/502579. Remains of a rectangular building (4×22 m; Fig. 2) on the Ramon Crater cliff. The structure’s eastern wall was not preserved. A tumulus is located in the northern part of the building (Fig. 3).
2. Map ref. 181735/503469. An elliptical animal pen (15×21 m; Fig. 4), built of fieldstones.
3. Map ref. 181630/503486. Two modern tombs (c. 1×2 m), situated c. 1 m apart. Gravestones facing east are at the head of the northern tomb (Fig. 5).
4. Map ref. 181162/502896. Remains of a rectangular building (4–5×18 m) on a hilltop situated on the cliff. The building becomes wider toward the west. A tumulus is located in the western part of the building (Fig. 6).
The two structures documented in the survey were built on a high cliff, near an ancient road, as was characteristic in the desert region during the Early Bronze Age. Ancient roads with similar rectangular buildings alongside them are known throughout the Negev.