Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Good News on a Fast Day

Israel Antiquities Authority announces:

An ancient road leading from Yafo to Jerusalem, which dates to the Roman period (second–fourth centuries CE), was exposed this past fortnight in the Beit Hanina neighborhood in northern Jerusalem...The wide road (c. 8 m) was bounded on both sides by curbstones. The road itself was built of large flat stones fitted to each other so as to create a comfortable surface for walking...

...The road section discovered in the IAA excavations in Beit Hanina is part of the imperial network of roads that led to Jerusalem from the coastal plain...Two main arteries led from Yafo to Jerusalem during the Roman period. One is the road that passes through Bet Horon and the other runs via Shaar HaGai. This particular segment belongs to the Bet Horon road. The road began in Yafo and passed through Lod where it split it two different directions: one to Shaar HaGai and the other by way of Modiin along the route of what is today Highway 443 to Bet Horon. From there the road continued eastward as far as Bir Nabala and turned south to Kefar Shmuel where it merged with the highlands road that led to the Old City of Jerusalem.

In some places we can see that the modern Bir Nabala road was paved just a few centimeters above the route of the ancient road, which indicates that until a few decades ago the ancient road in this region was visible and was used.

The Romans were here before the Arabs.

And Jews were here before the Romans because the Romans came and destroyed our Second Temple which is why I am fasting today, the 17th of Tammuz.

But this is good news, even on a fast day.


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