Many archaeological sites were exposed beneath the sand dunes in the area of Rishon
Excavations in the cemetery were conducted in 1991–1998 under the direction of Y. Levy on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Six main excavation areas were opened (A–D, F, G; an additional pit burial was found in the area of the Iron Age fortress, area E). To date, 22 shaft tombs and 190 pit burials have been excavated, although many additional graves were located during the excavations and classified according to plan (shaft or pit) based on surface indications. All together, the cemetery contains at least 218 pit burials and 28 shaft tombs. In addition, three jar burials were excavated. The graves contained pottery and alabaster vessels; metal artifacts such as daggers, axes, and toggle pins; beads; and sheep bones inside jars or bowls, sometimes together with a metal knife.