Ramat Yishay spreads across a limestone hill that overlooks the northwestern end of the Jezreel Valley, to the east of Nahal Bet Lehem, a tributary of Nahal Qishon. The excavation uncovered remains of an Intermediate Bronze Age burial cave and finds (grave goods?) from the Middle Bronze Age (Stratum II), as well as remains of a built tomb from the Roman period (Stratum I).
Numerous excavations were conducted at the site in the past (for background and references, see Tepper 2016; Mokary 2021). At nearby Tel Risim, remains were uncovered from a variety of periods, including settlement remains and a burial cave from the Intermediate Bronze Age (for background and references, see Berger 2018; Atrash 2010).

Stratum II — Intermediate and Middle Bronze Age. Remains of a rock-hewn burial cave (L103; Figs. 2, 3) were discovered in the center of the excavation area; the cave was damaged by development work prior to the excavation. The cave contained a curved wall built of large limestone blocks (W111). The wall divided the cave into two cells. A jar without a rim (not drawn) and a bronze dagger (length 0.35 m; Fig. 4) dated to the Intermediate Bronze Age (second half of the third millennium BCE) were discovered on the rock floor in the northern cell (L110).
The northwest of the excavation area contained a cluster of pottery vessels (L107, L108) dating from Middle Bronze IIA on a bedding of small fieldstones; this may be a concentration of grave goods, although no burial was found at the site. The pottery includes a bowl (Fig. 5:1) and two jars (Fig. 5:4, 5).
The southeastern part of the area (L109) yielded an intact Intermediate Bronze Age jug (Fig. 5:3) placed on the bedrock, with no other remains. A pile of soil (not in plan) deposited during earthworks prior to the excavation c. 20 m to the east of W112 yielded a fragment of a bag-shaped alabaster juglet (Fig. 5:2). It has a short, thick everted rim, whose edge was not preserved, and a flat base, and it is rounded toward the base. The alabaster is whitish buff in color with light horizontal veins. Jugs of this type are very common in tombs from the end of Middle Bronze III and from Late Bronze I (Guy 1938:186; Oren 1973:91; Be’eri 2008:335–336). The jug and the juglet probably come from a tomb that was not preserved.
Stratum I — Roman. Remains of a rock-hewn tomb (W112–W114; Figs. 6, 7) whose walls were lined with limestone ashlars were found in the southeastern part of the area; only its western part was excavated. The tomb contained a layer of collapsed building stones (L102) on top of gray soil (L106). Two column drums whose purpose is unknown were found in the center of the tomb. The collapsed stones and the soil yielded pottery dated mostly to the fourth century CE, including a bowl (Fig. 8:1), three jars (Fig. 8:2–4) and two oil lamps (Fig. 8:5, 6). The tomb also yielded glass finds from the Roman period (below).
Glass Finds
Yael Gorin-Rosen

The finds include an intact glass bottle, fragments of glassware and a lump of glass-industry waste. These finds are important, as they date the built tomb and possibly also a nearby late settlement. The intact bottle (Fig. 9:1) was found inside the tomb (L106, Basket 1075). It is a candlestick bottle made of greenish glass and covered with sandy encrustation. The rim is slightly everted and infolded, with a wide fold that is hollow and uneven. The neck is long and narrow, and the body is small, squat and globular, without a scar on its base. The quality of the glass is poor, and it contains numerous small bubbles and black impurities. Bottles of this group were common from the end of the first to the early third centuries CE. There are several sub-types of this bottle, which differ slightly from each other. The bottle from the current excavation is characterized by a designed rim and a squat body without a well-defined base. A similar bottle (unpublished) was found in a previous excavation at Ramat Yishay, in a bell-shaped cistern along with other vessels from the Roman period (Hanna 2013).

A rim fragment of another bottle (Fig. 9:2) was found in the layer of collapsed stones in the tomb (L102, Basket 1008); the bottle’s rim was restored from four fragments. It is made of poor-quality bluish-green glass, containing numerous small bubbles and marks of blowing spirals. The rim is funnel-shaped, elongated and thickened. Bottles with similar funnel rims are common in assemblages from the Late Roman and Byzantine periods. Bottles with similar rims found in the burial complexes at Bet She‘arim are dated to the Late Roman period (Barag 1971:154–156, Fig. 98:1, 3). Judging by the vessel’s form and size and the quality of the glass, it can probably be dated to the end of the Byzantine period.

The lump of glass waste was found crumbled into several pieces (L102). It consisted of raw glass with traces of the furnace wall. A single lump of glass does not constitute sufficient evidence for the existence of a workshop at the site; nevertheless, waste of this type has no other use, increasing the likelihood that there was a glass workshop nearby. This conclusion is corroborated by remains of glass industry that have been found in previous excavations at Ramat Yishay, although they have not yet been published. As glass-industry remains have been found at Zippori (Gorin-Rosen 2010), at Bet She‘arim and at Jalame (Gorin-Rosen 2000), where glass workshops have been found, it may be concluded that there was a glass-production workshop at Ramat Yishay during the Roman–Early Islamic periods.

The rock-hewn burial cave from the Intermediate Bronze Age discovered in the excavation was probably associated with the settlement at nearby Tel Risim. There may also have been Middle Bronze burials in the excavation area, which possibly reused earlier burial caves. Based on the built tomb from the Roman period, the site was apparently used for burial also during this period.