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Archaeologists Uncover Roman-Era Road Near Bet Shemesh

IAA excavation director, Irina Zilberbod, at the newly discovered Roman road. IAA excavation director, Irina Zilberbod, at the newly discovered Roman road. (Photo: IAA/ASHERNET)

An exciting archaeological find was made in the Holy Land: the “Emperor’s Road” from 2,000 years ago.

The preserved road – stretching up to six-meters wide and continuing for a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers – was revealed during an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation conducted prior to laying a water pipeline.

“The road that we discovered, which 2,000 years ago passed along a route similar to Highway 375 today. . . was apparently meant to link the Roman settlement that existed in the vicinity of Beit Natif with the main highway known as the ‘Emperor’s Road.’ That road was in fact a main artery that connected the large settlements of Eleutheropolis (Bet Guvrin) and Jerusalem,” said Irina Zilberbod, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Zilberbod said the construction of the Emperor’s Road is thought to have taken place at the time of Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the country, circa 130 CE, or slightly thereafter. “The presence of a milestone (a stone marking distances) bearing the name of the emperor Hadrian which was discovered in the past close to the road reinforces this hypothesis,” she said.

Tags: Facts and Findings

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