In the past two years a number of excavations have been conducted along the line of the northern seam on the fringes of the Jezreel Valley. The excavations, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, at the Nahal Rimonim and Jalama sites, revealed a tomb and cemetery that date to the end of the Middle Bronze Age and the beginning of the Late Bronze Age.
The Nahal Rimonim site is situated on the southeastern edge of the Jezreel Valley, northwest of Zabuba village, c 5 kilometers south of Megiddo and c. 3 kilometers north of Tel Ta’anach. Habitation layers from the Intermediate Bronze Age and Middle Bronze Age IIA were excavated, as well as a special tomb dating to the Middle Bronze Age IIC. The tomb is in the shape of a built cist, in which a man, woman and child were interred. Based on the positions of the deceased they are believed to have been family members. Numerous funerary offerings had been placed next to the deceased including local pottery vessels and vessels imported from Cyprus, weapons and silver, bronze and copper jewelry. Noteworthy among the special finds is a cylinder seal decorated with hieroglyphics.
The village of Jalame is located on the southern fringes of the Jezreel Valley, c. 6 kilometers north of Jenin. The excavations focused on the ancient cemetery. Four rock-hewn burial caves were excavated that were used in the Intermediate Bronze Age, all phases of the Middle Bronze Age II and the beginning of the Late Bronze Age.
In Tomb III, comprising four burial chambers, more than twenty adults were interred whose remains were found amongst enormous piles of funerary offerings. More than one thousand intact or almost intact pottery vessels were found that were funerary offerings. In addition to the assemblage of local pottery, a number of vessels imported from Cyprus were found. Among the other finds there are dozens of pieces of bronze jewelry, bone inlay used to decorate boxes, alabaster vessels, more than thirty scarabs, frit ware, beads made of various kinds of stone and a glass bead.
Based on both the local and imported pottery assemblages, the last burial phase in the cave dates to the transitional phase between the Middle Bronze Age and the Late Bronze Age, that is, the middle of the 16th century BCE.