Ancient Coins And 2,000-Year-Old 'Emperor's Road' Uncovered In Israel

First Posted: Mar 09, 2017 05:19 AM EST

The archaeologists in Israel discovered in February an ancient road believed to be linked to "Emperor's Road" near Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem and passes close to the Israel National Trail. It was uncovered during the preparatory infrastructure digging for installation of a water pipeline at the initiative of the Beit Shemesh water corporation "Mei Shemesh."

Irina Zilberbod, the director of the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) excavation, said that the road dated 2,000 years ago passed along a route like Highway 375 today. It was about 6 meters (20 feet) wide and continued for approximately 4.5 kilometers (4 miles). She further said that it was clearly meant to link the Roman settlement that existed near Beit Natif with the main highway known as the "Emperor's Road."

Zilberbod continued that the Emperor's Road was the main artery linking the large settlements of Eleutheropolis and Jerusalem. She added that its construction took place at the time of Emperor Hadrian's visit to the country, around 130 C.E. or slightly thereafter during the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 132 C.E. to 135 C.E., as noted by Live Science.

The Emperor's Road was also called "Caesar's Road." It was constructed by the Romans to make an easier passageway for them to travel with their horses and armies. The archeologists also found four coins. These include one coin dated from Year 2 of the Great Revolt or the first Jewish-Roman War (67 C.E.), a coin of the prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate dated back around 29 C.E., a coin from the Umayyad period (660-750 C.E.) and a coin of Agrippa I from 41 CE that was fabricated in Jerusalem, according to Breaking Israel News.

Meanwhile, Amit Shadman, the Israel Antiquities Authority chief archaeologists for the Judea District said that the ancient road passed close to the Israel National Trail and they believe that it will spark interest among the hikers. He further said that the Israel Antiquities Authority and Mei Shemesh Corporation are of the same opinion that the road must be conserved in situ, for the public's benefit. 

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