Following the excavations at Sumaqa, Horvat Raqit was chosen as the second site for excavation and research on Mount Carmel. The excavations at Sumaqa were conducted between 1983-1995 and produced a rich and unique yield of historical and archaeological information about the Carmel range, but there was still some doubt as to whether the Sumaqa findings fully reflected the history of all the Carmel settlements during the Roman and Byzantine periods, or whether Sumaqa was a Jewish townshA isolated from its neighbours on the mountainous Carmel. Consequently a proposal was made, which was repeatedly discussed with the Sumaqa professional team, to study an additional site in the area and enrich the knowledge of the mountainous Carmel that was insufficiently known or familiar at the time. Raqit lay in a long-standing pine forest with paved roads that reached the foot of the spur on which the site is located. The site was almost completely covered by the forest undergrowth, but over the years this also protected it from the depredations of antiquity robbers. In the winter of 1992, a series of surveys of Horvat Raqit was conducted. Although Raqit had been surveyed in the course of the second half of the 19th century and in the 20th century too, no map of the site was available and its definition by the various surveyors was partial and inaccurate. By the summer of 1993 a detailed map of Raqit had been produced which was defined as a large estate villa. The excavations at Sumaqa were concluded in the summer of 1995, and in the spring of 1996 a small team went to Raqit to familiarize itself with the site and conduct trial excavations. After only a few days of work at the site it was unanimously decided that Raqit was worthy of detailed study and large-scale excavation, and indeed, between 1996 and 2002 annual excavations were conducted at Raqit, the results of which are published in this volume.