Israel unearths the Roman road to Jerusalem

4th Jul 2013

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered well-preserved pieces of an ancient Roman road that once linked Jerusalem with Jaffa.

The archaeologists made the discovery in a dig near the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina a fortnight ago, before the laying of drainage pipe there, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said.

Jerusalem is celebrated as the holiest metropolis in Jewish tradition, much loved by holidaymakers on city breaks on religious specialist tours.

The new discovery will add to the array of cultural sites the city has to offer, such as the Mount of Olives and nearby Golgotha.

The 8-metre (26.2 feet)-wide highway was constructed from huge flat stones fitted together to form a comfortable walking surface, the IAA said.

David Yeger, head of the excavation, said: "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."

Yeger added that the Romans put great importance on their empire's roads.

He added: "They invested large sums of money and utilised the most advanced technological aids of the period in order to criss cross the empire with roads."

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