Archaeologists Discover the Ancient Road Used by Jewish Pilgrims

January 28, 2016 | Robin Ngo
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The Bible requires all Jewish males to make a pilgrimage to the Temple on the holidays of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. Now two archaeologists, Yotam and Yigal Tepper, believe they have discovered the road used by these pilgrims in Roman times. Robin Ngo writes:

Many different types of roads crossed through Judea in the Roman period. The methodically planned imperial “highways” were standardized across the Roman empire, with milestones placed at fixed intervals listing the names of the builders as well as the distance and destination of the roads. . . . There were also “agricultural roads” that connected settlements with their fields and “rural roads” that connected villages with nearby sites, such as springs.

There is another type of ancient road: the road on which Jews would travel during their Jerusalem pilgrimage. One such road can be found at an upward pass at Beit Horon, about ten miles northwest of Jerusalem. . . . This road comprises curved rock-cut steps measuring five-and-one-half feet in width. Alongside this modest road is a Roman imperial road more than double the width of the pilgrimage road; both led to Jerusalem.

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