An ancient road has been uncovered in Jerusalem that dates back to Roman times. Leading from Yafo to Jerusalem, the road has been estimated to be about 1,800 years old. It was found during an excavation being performed by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) at Beit Hanina before a drainage pipe was scheduled to be installed.
The news of this remarkable find was announced by IAA on June 25, 2013. The road is described as being a stretch of 26 feet (eight meters) and was constructed of flat stones fitted together. The road also contains curbstones built on either side.
Experts say it appears the road had been well-used during its time. Archeologists said they were even able to see there were numerous repairs that had been made on the road over the centuries.
Live Science reported this road was one of "two imperial arteries" connecting Jerusalem to the modern day city of Tel Aviv and at the location of the ancient city of Jaffa. Jaffa was an ancient port city that was heavily mentioned in Biblical times. Both the Old and New Testaments cite events that took place at Jaffa.
Experts say this road segment is part of an intricate system of roads. The use of roads in ancient Rome is well documented through historical accounts and archaeological excavations. The roads are said to be "unparalleled in convenience" and the civilization is said to be the first to develop paved roads.
"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," David Yeger, excavation director who oversaw the excavation, said in a statement issued by the organization. "The Romans attached great importance to the roads in the empire. They invested large sums of money and utilized the most advanced technological aids of the period in order to crisscross the empire with roads."
"They invested large sums of money and utilized the most advanced technological aids of the period in order to crisscross the empire with roads. These served the government, military, economy and public by providing an efficient and safe means of passage," Yeger added.
The IAA says the modern road was paved "just a few centimeters" over the ancient road. Experts say this is an indication the ancient Roman-built road was used up until sometime over the past century when it was paved over. It is believed the modern road was only built to cover up the ancient one in recent decades.