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June 25, 2013 11:17 am

Roman-Era Road Uncovered in Northern Jerusalem is Most Finely Preserved Yet, Authorities Say

avatar by Zach Pontz

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A section of an 1,800 year old road recently exposed in Jerusalem. Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority.

An ancient road leading from Jaffa to Jerusalem, which dates back nearly 1,800 years to the Roman period of rule, was recently uncovered in the Beit Hanina neighborhood in northern Jerusalem.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said it was exposed quite by accident prior to the installation of a drainage pipe.

A statement from the Israel Government Press Office described the road as “built of large flat stones fitted to each other so as to create a comfortable surface for walking. Some of the pavers were very badly worn, indicating the extensive use that was made of the road, and over the years the road also underwent a series of repairs.”

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According to David Yeger the excavation director who spoke on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Several segments of the road were previously excavated by research expeditions of the IAA, but such a finely preserved section of the road has not been discovered in the city of Jerusalem until now.”

The road section is part of the imperial network of roads that led to Jerusalem from the coastal plain.

“The Romans attached great importance to the roads in the empire. They invested large sums of money and utilized the most advanced technological aids of the period in order to crisscross the empire with roads. These served the government, military, economy and public by providing an efficient and safe means of passage. Way stations and roadside inns were built along the roads, as well fortresses in order to protect the travelers. The construction and maintenance of the roads was assigned to military units, but civilians also participated in the work as part of the compulsory labor imposed on them by the authorities,” Yeger said.

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