While preparing to lay a water pipe near Beit Shemesh, a 2,000 year old road was discovered during an archaeological dig.
The Israel Antiquities Authority managed to date the road due to coins that were found in between the stones – including one from the time of the Great Revolt just before the destruction of the Second Temple, and another which was minted in Jerusalem in 41CE.
Irina Zilberbod, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority said:
The road that we discovered, which 2,000 years ago passed along a route similar to Highway 375 today, was up to 6 meters wide, continued for a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, and 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. 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, during the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 132-135 CE.
The Authority also confirmed that the road is slated to be preserved so that the public will be able to visit.
(Cover picture: Israel Antiquities Authority)