The rock-cut tombs lay undisturbed for almost 5,000 years. They may have been first encountered during the construction of the Kercem parish church, between 1846–51, which involved extensive quarrying. However the tombs did not draw any further attention and went unnoticed for another 163 years and the present development.
As the site was being cleared of debris in 2008, the tombs were exposed again. The Superintendence immediately took steps to protect the site. A temporary cover was installed to provide shelter from the rain, which came early in the autumn. The site was monitored and allowed to dry for an entire year.