These nine tombs were cut in impressive vertical shafts deep into the rock in the 2nd millennium BC and discovered after a landslip. Some of the sarcophagi found here are now housed in the National Museum, including that of King Hiram, whose sarcophagus has one of the earliest Phoenician alphabet inscriptions in the world. His grave shaft also is inscribed, this time with the eerie phrase, ‘Warning here, thy death is below’, probably an attempt to scare off tomb robbers.