Few people, even in Israel, have heard of the hidden ancient Byzantine settlements in the forests of the Galilee... It turns out that the forests on the mountains of the Upper Galilee are dotted with ruins of Byzantine settlements from the 4th-7th centuries AD, which lay deserted for a thousand years and were only re-discovered in the 20th century, first by the surveyors of the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1928 (British Mandate period), and then more recently and more thoroughly by Israeli archeologists.
Hurvat Dun'illa is easily accessible, a short walk in the forest from a parking lot off the road (Kvish ha-Tzafon), near Kibbutz Goren.
The ruins rising out of the overgrown shrubs give the place a romantic and somewhat mysterious character. Who were the people who lived here? What did they live on? What was everyday life like? Why did they leave?
Well, Byzantine Christians led their lives here between the 4th-7th centuries AD (until the Persian and later the Arab occupation of the land). A street has been preserved, making it easier to imagine what the place actually looked like. There are a few well-preserved oil presses, bearing silent witness to the olive oil industry here. The water cistern system is also well preserved.
Come and visit Hurvat Dun'illa and see it as it is now, before further development takes place!