During November 2002 a salvage excavation was conducted at Kafr Kama (Permit No. 3779; map ref. NIG 24173/73601; OIG 19173/23601) in the wake of damage caused by the hewing of a drainage trench. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by K. Covello-Paran, assisted by Regem Co. Ltd (surveying).
The excavation area is located south of the main road from Kafr Kama to Yavne’el where a modern trench cut through a limestone hill and damaged numerous rock- hewn burial caves, dating to the Intermediate Bronze and Middle Bronze II Ages and Iron I period. Ten burial caves were plotted and recorded, three were partially excavated.
Tomb II had a partially preserved vertical shaft (diam. 0.8 m), which led down via two steps into a small circular burial chamber (diam. 1.8 m). Damage to the cave precluded an estimate of its original height; only the lowermost 0.35 m of the cave was preserved. A stone-built wall that consisted of one course of various-sized stones divided the burial chamber into two spaces. The smaller space contained well-preserved burial goods, including three upright storage jars, each containing a small dipper juglet (Fig. 1), which rested against the cave wall. Additional juglets, some with red-burnished slip, were placed on the floor surrounding the storage jars. The larger space was, most likely, intended for the interment; however, no human bones were preserved. Two small Black-on-Red juglets were found together near the wall, presumably near the head of the individual; these were the only burial goods on this side of the partition wall. All the pottery vessels dated this burial to Iron I.
Tomb III was minimally damaged by the modern trench that partially shaved off the burial chamber’s wall lengthwise (length 2.2 m). A smashed jug was found directly above a stone pavement, overlaying the leveled bedrock floor of the chamber. This burial was dated to the Intermediate Bronze Age. An intact bronze dagger was discovered 10 m north of this tomb, in the dirt piles caused by the modern damage.
Tomb IV was mostly damaged prior to the excavation and only the lowermost 0.35 m was preserved. A rectangular burial chamber of small dimensions (length 1.5 m, width 1.1–1.2 m) was excavated (Fig. 2). Two bronze bracelets above the bedrock floor were the sole burial goods preserved from this tomb, which contained no osteological remains.
Tomb VI was not excavated; however, a high pile of bones alongside the cave wall was evident in the modern section, indicating multiple burials in this tomb. Pottery fragments in the vicinity of the tomb dated it to MB II.