Excavating the area outside the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh, archaeologists have found traces of a 2,000-year-old road that once connected a Roman town with the area’s then-major highway, known as the Emperor’s Road. The Israel Antiquities Authority writes:
[The highway] connected the large settlements of Jerusalem and Eleutheropolis (now Beit Guvrin) [to the southwest]. The construction of the Emperor’s Road is thought to have taken place at the time of Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the country, circa 130 CE, or slightly thereafter, during the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 132-135 CE. The presence of a milestone bearing the name of the emperor Hadrian, previously discovered nearby, reinforces this hypothesis.
Coins were [also] discovered between the pavement stones: a coin from the second year of the Great Revolt [against Roman rule] (67 CE), a coin from the Umayyad period [the 7th and 8th centuries], a coin of the prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate, dating to 29 CE, and a coin of King Agrippa I from 41 CE that was minted in Jerusalem.
Up until 2,000 years ago, most of the roads in the country were actually improvised trails. However, during the Roman period, as a result of military campaigns, the national and international road network started to be developed in an unprecedented manner. The Roman government was well aware of the importance of the roads for the proper running of the empire.