During October 2005 salvage excavations were conducted at five Intermediate Bronze Age sites on the hills north of Dimona, prior to the construction of a new neighborhood in the region.
The sites that were excavated were visible on the surface level before the excavation and were located by Flavia Sontag and Yigal Israel, within the framework of a development survey.
Four of the five sites are close to each other and located on the southern slope of a spur of the Dimona ridge. The fifth site is on one of the hilltops on the spur.
The sites are divided into two kinds:
  1. Sites with circular pens with several rooms incorporated in, or adjacent to, the perimeter  wall.
  2. Sites with isolated buildings.
Description of the sites:
Area A: an oval animal pen (14 x 17 m) with three curved rooms incorporated in its perimeter wall, one on the western side and two others in the northeast. The animal pen was enclosed on the south and southwest by another wall that probably served to demarcate an area for tents or another pen. The wall of the animal pen, like those of the rooms, was built of large and medium size stones, most of which were set in place in an upright position.
Area B: located c. 50 m southwest of Area A where an oval building (2.0 x 3.5 m) was discovered. The structure was built of medium size stones, which were set in place in an upright position, and was founded on the bedrock that also served as the floor of the building.
Area C: located c. 45 m east southeast of Area A and c. 25 m north of Area B. A semicircular animal pen (12 m in diameter) is located in this area. Its builders utilized a natural bedrock terrace as part of the perimeter wall and against which the pen was built. Some 7 meters southwest of the animal pen is an oval building (2.2 x 3.2 m) built of medium size stones and both elements are enclosed by a wall situated to the northwest, (probably a retaining wall). The wall of the animal pen is built of large stones that appear to have been placed upright but most of them have since collapsed because of the inclination of the slope.
Area D: located c. 80 m southeast of Area B.Remains of a round animal pen with a presumed diameter of c. 15 m were revealed there. The pen was built at the bottom of the slope, next to the river channel, which is probably why it was so poorly preserved. Several sections of the perimeter wall that was built of large stones had survived; however, no floors or ancillary rooms were identified.
Area E: located on a hilltop, c. 150 m north of the rest of the areas. An oval building (6 m in diameter) was excavated that was constructed up against a rogem (c. 3.5 m in diameter, 0.7 m high). A burial was discovered in a cell built of upright stone slabs inside the rogem. The burial cell was excavated until it was determined beyond a doubt that this was indeed a burial; however, the skeleton was not exposed. The wall of the rogem, which is founded on the bedrock, is built of two rows of medium size stones with a fill of small stones; the opening to the rogem faces south.
The finds at four of the five sites consists of a few pottery sherds including a small hole-mouth and the shoulder of a jar (with a lug handle) that is decorated with incised stripes. Flint implements and animal bones were also recovered.
The animal pen in Area D was devoid of finds from the Intermediate Bronze Age and only several fragments of an Ottoman clay pipe were found.
The sites I excavated are part of a broad distribution of the Early Bronze Age IV sites in the Negev in general, and this region in particular, such as the sites that were excavated by Dr. Dov Nachlieli and Gil Tahal, east of Dimona in 1991. I identified two other animal pens that are located on the Dimona ridge, about a kilometer northwest of the sites that I excavated. In my opinion these are temporary sites according to the classification compiled by Rudolf Cohen and they were used occupied seasonally during the grazing season.