The columbarium (L103; 2 × 5 m; Figs. 2–4) was discovered in the southern part of the excavation area. It was hewn in soft limestone rock, and its upper part was not preserved. Three rows of small niches, hewn above each other, survived inside. Most of the niches were arched and only one was triangular. A stone column (L114; 0.5 × 0.5 m, height 1.05 m) in the center of the installation had supported the rock ceiling, which was not preserved. The column was set inside a depression cut into the rock and was secured in place with small stones. At some point during its use of the installation, a wall (W104; length 2.7 m width 0.6 m, height 0.85 m) was constructed to enclose the area of the columbarium. Wall 104 was built of two rows of fieldstones set on the rock in a north–south direction, and was preserved to a height of three courses. The excavation inside the columbarium yielded diverse assemblage of pottery, including a casserole (Fig. 5:1) and a lamp from the Iron Age (Fig. 5:3); casseroles (Fig 5:4), cooking pots (Fig. 5:5, 6) and a jar (Fig. 5:8) from the Hellenistic period; and a frying pan (Fig. 5:11) and a jar (Fig. 5:12) from the Byzantine period. Other finds include two coins, one dating to the Hasmonean period (IAA 144983) and the other to the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (104–76 BCE; IAA 144984).
The doves in the columbarium may have been raised to produce fertilizer from their droppings, for food, as carrying pigeons or for sacrifice. Presumably it had a single opening, as was generally the case. The closed structure protected the doves from predators. Rock-hewn installations and installations constructed in the form of towers were both used in Israel for raising doves. Raising doves was a widespread and developing economic activity, particularly in the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods (Zissu 1996).
A small building-stones quarry (L106), two hewn cisterns (L105, L107) and two cupmarks (L117—0.2 × 0.3 m, depth 0.1 m; L118—0.3 × 0.4 m, depth 0.1 m) were exposed in a small area (Fig. 6) c. 1 m northeast of the columbarium. In Quarry 106 (2 × 4 m; Fig. 7) quarrying marks of stones, severance channels and unfinished building stones were discerned. The quarry was covered with alluvium that contained several non-diagnostic pottery sherds. The lower part of Cistern 107 (Figs. 7, 8) was destroyed. The cistern’s opening (diam. 1.8 m) was round, and a circular depression (L108; 0.9 × 1.1 m, depth 0.3 m) next to it was hewn in the rock to the northwest; it seems that the depression was related to the cistern but its use is unclear. Cistern 105 had a vertical elliptical shaft (1.0 × 1.5 m; Fig. 9) with an opening breached near its bottom. The cistern was coated with two layers of plaster (thickness 3 cm): a dark gray layer of plaster mixed with white inclusions, and over it a light gray layer. Cistern 105 severed a rock-hewn installation located to its south (L109; 0.6 × 1.7 m). The two cisterns were destroyed at some point, and their eastern part remained open. A mixed assemblage of pottery was discovered in the excavation at this area, including an Iron Age bowl (Fig. 5:2); a cooking pot (Fig. 5:7) and a jar (Fig. 5:9) dating to the Hellenistic period; and a casserole (Fig 5:10) and a jar (Fig. 5:13) from the Byzantine period.
The pottery and coins that were found in the excavation indicate human activity from the Iron Age to the Byzantine period. The current excavation area apparently constituted part of the outskirts of an ancient settlement, whose remains were exposed in previous excavations (Eirikh-Rose 2007:142; ‘Adawi 2010).