In 2003 the so-called Renaissance Tomb (fig. 20) On the tomb see also McKenzie 1990: 166f.; Brünnow – Domaszewski 1904: 158 no. 229. was excavated in a joint effort by the Department of Antiquities and the International Wadi Farasa Project Schmid/Huguenot/B’dool 2004. .
This excavation revealed 14 pits cut into the floor of the inner room (fig. 21), at least 12 of them used as graves in the Nabataean period. Since they all turned out to be opened and robbed out at the latest in the Medieval period and maybe already in Antiquity, the chronology of the tombs was in some cases difficult to establish.
In quite some cases there was enough material from the Nabataean period in order to propose a concise date, but since that material was mostly mixed with more recent intrusions, definite conclusions were difficult to reach. This can be illustrated by the material from tomb 8 (fig. 22; cf. fig. 21 for location). From the lowest part of the pit, that is the grave properly, comes exclusively Nabataean pottery from the last quarter of the 1st century AD as well as a Nabataean lamp (upper half on fig. 22). From the upper part of the grave, where the tomb robbers had opened the burial, comes Nabataean pottery mixed with Medieval sherds (lower half on fig. 22).
The most promising way in order to obtain more precise indications seemed to be the analysis of the covering layers themselves. As a matter of fact, most of the graves inside the Renaissance Tomb were covered by stone slabs and then sealed in with a hard layer consisting of gravel stones mixed with lime mortar and containing small fragments of pottery. This can be best illustrated by graves 4 and 8 (figs. 23–25; cf. fig. 21 for location).
Since the looters opened only the absolutely necessary minimum space in order to reach the burials, most of the covering material remained untouched. In the case of grave 8 (left on fig. 23; fig. 24), the covering layer above the stone slabs measures around 80 cm in high, in the case of grave 4 (right on fig. 23; fig. 25) it still reaches about 25 cm.
In both cases substantial and – more important – homogeneous amounts of Nabataean pottery were found. The painted pottery from the sealing of grave 8 (fig. 26) consisted mostly of sherds belonging to phase 3a (century AD 20 to AD 75) and a few belonging to phase 3b (century AD 75 to AD 100), no later material was recorded Phasing of Nabataean fine ware pottery according to Schmid 2000A. .
This picture is confirmed by the finds of plain fine and coarse ware from the same sealing (fig. 27). Therefore, the burial within grave 8 can securely be dated to the beginning of the last quarter of the 1st century AD.
The situation is similar when analyzing the finds from the sealing of grave 4 (fig. 28). Most of the sherds belong to phase 3a, some are even earlier, and only one can possibly be assigned to phase 3b. One would conclude, then, that grave 4 is at the latest contemporary to tomb 8, maybe even slightly earlier.