An ancient highway dating back to the Roman empire has been discovered in Jerusalem, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) said.
The road, believed to be 1,800 years old, was discovered in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Beit Hanina in northern Jerusalem, reports said.
“This is the first time we have encountered such a finely preserved section of the road in Jerusalem,” said excavation director David Yeger.
The newly discovered road was part of the imperial network of roads that led to Jerusalem from the coastal plains. It leads from Jaffa to Jerusalem.
The road, about eight metres wide, was built of large flat stones fitted to each other so as to create a comfortable surface for walking, the IAA said.
Some of the stones are badly worn out, which indicates that the road was extensively used and over the years also underwent a series of repairs, it said.
The Romans ruled the Mediterranean and parts of Europe from the first century BC until the fall of the empire in 476 AD.
They crisscrossed their empire with roads, which had a great importance in serving the government, military, economy and public by providing an efficient and safe means of passage.
“The construction and maintenance of roads was assigned to military units, but civilians also participated in the work as part of the compulsory labour imposed on them by the authorities,” Yeger said.