In the Roman Republic and Empire, state-sponsored roads were critical to the growth and preservation of the state. They provided an extraordinarily durable and efficient means of overland travel, communication and trade. Remains of a well-preserved Roman road have recently been discovered in Jerusalem. The road, dated from the second to third centuries C.E., was found during an excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in preparation for the installation of a drainage pipe. Measuring c. 26 feet in width, the road was built by fitting together large flat stones and was flanked on both sides by curbstones.
Two main Roman roads led from Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast to Jerusalem. The section of road discovered by the IAA was part of the northern route that passed through Beit Horon on its way to the Old City of Jerusalem. According to excavation director David Yeger, “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.”
This summer, the Jezreel Valley Regional Project teamed up with Israeli archaeologist Yotam Tepper to expose a Roman camp just south of Tel Megiddo known as Legio. In a web-exclusive report, directors Matthew J. Adams, Jonathan David and Yotam Tepper describe the first archaeological investigation of a second-century C.E. Roman camp in the Eastern Roman Empire.
BAS Library Members: Read more about Roman constructions in ancient Israel:
Kenneth G. Holum, “Caesarea: Herod and Beyond: Building Power,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2004.
Dan Gill, “It’s a Natural: Masada Ramp Was Not a Roman Engineering Miracle,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2001.
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