Excavations carried out at this site from 1975 to 1980 by an archaeological mission led by Dr. Gabriel Barkai turned up impressive remains of nine burial caves. Extending from the three sides of each cave are "shelves" on which the bodies of the dead were placed. In some of the caves empty spaces were dug beneath the shelves, where the remains of the deceased were placed in order to make room for the more recent dead. The many items found in these vault-like areas vessels, arrowheads, jewelry, a perfume bowl, and others provide evidence about life in Jerusalem during the period of the Kingdom of Judah. However, the most exciting find was undoubtedly two minuscule silver scrolls containing the earliest known version of Birkat Hakohanim the priestly benediction.