Archaeologists find 1,500-year-old Jerusalem street

Feb 10, 2010
A Jordanian man cleans the Madaba Map. Archaeologists said they have found a 1,500-year-old Jerusalem road that was once a bustling throughfare used by throngs of Christian pilgrims and which is depicted on a famed mosaic map of the Holy Land.

Archaeologists said on Wednesday they have found a 1,500-year-old Jerusalem road that was once a bustling throughfare used by throngs of Christian pilgrims and which is depicted on a famed mosaic map of the Holy Land.

The small segment of road was found in a dig conducted before authorities carry out infrastructure rehabilitation just inside the Old City's Jaffa Gate.

"After removing a number of archaeological strata, at a depth of 4.5 metres (14.80 feet) below today's street level, much to our excitement, we discovered the large flagstones that paved the street," said excavation director Ofer Sion.

The single, central thoroughfare is clearly visible on the Madaba , a floor mosaic in the Byzantine church of Saint George in Jordan which is the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land, said Sion, standing on scaffolding above the cracked flagstones.

"In those days, thousands of pilgrims from across the Christian world would be using that road," he said.

Sion recounted that an eminent scholar of the Byzantine period, whom he wouldn't name, was close to tears when he saw the flagstones, which are over one metre- (3.2-foot) long.

But, because it is below a busy , the dig will have to be covered up again in a few weeks, Sion told journalists.

The excavation led by the Israel Antiquities Authority also uncovered remains of buildings from later periods as well as a a water cistern measuring eight by 12 metres and five metres deep (26 X 39 x 16 feet.)

In addition, the archaeologists found numerous pottery vessels and coins and five small square bronze weights.

Explore further: Everglades trail surveyed for cultural artifacts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Israeli archaeologists discover ancient quarry

Jul 06, 2009

(AP) -- Israeli archaeologists have uncovered an ancient quarry where they believe King Herod extracted stones for the construction of the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said ...

Israeli archaeologists find ancient fortification

Sep 02, 2009

(AP) -- Archaeologists digging in Jerusalem have uncovered a 3,700-year-old wall that is the oldest example of massive fortifications ever found in the city, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Secrets of dinosaur ecology found in fragile amber

5 hours ago

Ryan McKellar's research sounds like it was plucked from Jurassic Park: he studies pieces of amber found buried with dinosaur skeletons. But rather than re-creating dinosaurs, McKellar uses the tiny pieces ...

New progress of the Neogene Suidae research

Oct 17, 2014

Dr. Hou Sukuan and Prof. Deng Tao from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology(IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences reported a new species of Chleuastochoerus from the Linxia Basin, Gansu ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Rajd
3 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
That's a historical finding, i think it should NOT be covered up again. it should excavated more and cleaned to make it visible to the world . if possibe restore it to its original version.
The new busy street need to deviate form that site.
This will a mark to the value of the Holy city.Remember there's more generation to come after us....