Roman-era roadway discovered in Beit Hanina

ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY workers analyze the remains of a 1,800-year-old road leading from Jerusalem to Jaffa.

June 26, 2013 21:07
1 minute read.
A Roman-era roadway discovered in Beit Hanina

Roman era road discovered in beit hanina 370. (photo credit: Courtesy IAA)

The Antiquities Authority unearthed a well-preserved section of an 1,800-year-old road in Beit Hanina on Tuesday, during a routine excavation prior to the installation of a drainage pipe in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood.

According to the Antiquities Authority, the 8-meter-wide road, which dates back to the Roman Empire, led from Jaffa to Jerusalem and was built with large flat stones and curbstones to create a surface that was comfortable for walking. Some of the stones were highly polished, indicating heavy pedestrian use, the authority added.

Although the authority had discovered other stretches of the road before, excavation director David Yeger, who oversaw the dig, said the section unearthed Tuesday was the best-preserved segment ever found in the capital.

“Several segments of the road were previously excavated by research expeditions of the Antiquities Authority, but such a finely preserved section of the road has not been discovered in the city of Jerusalem until now,” he said.

The Roman Empire built two roads from Jaffa to Jerusalem – one leading from Jaffa through Sha’ar Hagai, the other running farther east through Beit Horon, which runs parallel to Highway 443.

“The Romans attached great importance to the roads in the empire,” Yeger said. “They invested large sums of money and utilized the most advanced technological aids of the period in order to crisscross the empire with roads, [which] served the government, military, economy and public by providing an efficient and safe means of passage.”

The section excavated Tuesday was part of the Roman road that ran through Beit Horon, the Antiquities Authority said.

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