During July 2001, a salvage excavation was conducted on Road 453 near Kefar Truman (Permit No. A-3463; map ref. 19310–50/65465–80), prior to installing infrastructures. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Cellcom Company, was directed by G. Birman, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), T. Sagiv (field photography), H. Cinamon (GPS), Y. Elisha (preliminary inspections), D. Sklar (physical anthropology), M. Ben-Gal (pottery restoration), M. Shuiskaya (pottery and small finds drawing), L. Kupershmidt (metallurgical laboratory), and E. Yannai, M. Peilstöcker and R. Kletter.
A single excavation square was opened and remains of three built tombs dating to Middle Bronze IIA were exposed (Fig. 1). The tombs were severely damaged by mechanical equipment. The exposure of tombs from this period probably indicates that a cemetery from this period is situated nearby.
An excavation was conducted at the site in 1958 and remains of a church from the sixth century CE, consisting of a nave, aisles paved with mosaics bearing Greek inscriptions, a diaconicon and a prothesis, were exposed (Permit No. &-21/1958; Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land 2, p. 802). Another excavation was conducted at the site in 1998 and architectural remains from the Byzantine period and fragments of pottery vessels from Middle Bronze IIA were exposed (HA-ESI 111:47*).
Three poorly preserved tombs (L104–L106) were exposed. The tombs, generally oriented east west, were built of medium-sized fieldstones and covered with stone slabs that formed a gable (Fig. 2). The deceased were placed in a supine position on the floor of the tomb, which consisted of tamped earth (L109). The bones were discovered anatomically articulated, pointing to a primary burial, with the skull at the eastern side of the tomb. Offerings were discovered near the heads of some of the interred. Scattered offerings were discovered outside the tombs, probably a result of the damage caused to them. The excavation uncovered pottery and bronze artifacts that dated to MB IIA.
A woman and an infant were interred in Tomb 104 (Fig. 3). Near the head of the woman and next to her left arm were several funerary offerings, among them a jug with a concave disc base (Fig. 4:8) and piriform juglets (Fig. 4:12, 13). A bowl (Fig. 4:3) was discovered while dismantling the roof of the tomb (L103). A child, three to four years of age, was buried in Tomb 105. Two deceased were discovered lying side by side in Tomb 106. A pithos with a round base (Fig. 4:7), a bronze dagger (Fig. 5:1) and two bronze toggle pins (Fig. 5:2, 3) were discovered on the floor in the northwestern corner of the tomb. Several funerary offerings were discovered in the fill of a trench that was dug by a backhoe (L100), including a red slipped and burnished carinated bowl (Fig. 4:1), bowls (Fig. 4:2, 4, 5), a small bowl with a thin wall (Fig. 4:6), jars (Fig. 4:9, 10) and a dipper juglet (Fig. 4:11).