Israeli scholars have determined the date of creation of the main street of ancient Jerusalem. The construction of the stone pavement was carried out at the beginning of the 1st century AD, when the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate ruled Judea, the researchers believe. Coins found under the cobblestones helped make the discovery. The street was built for Jewish pilgrims who climbed from the font of Siloam to the Temple Mount.
- Old City (Jerusalem), 600 year
- © Corinna Kern
Archaeologists from the Office of Antiquities of Israel and Tel Aviv University after six years of excavation in the Old City of Jerusalem, the age of its main cobblestone street was established. In their opinion, the road was built and richly finished in the 1st century AD – during the reign of the prefect Pontius Pilate. The discovery is reported in the Tel Aviv University publication Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archeology.
Pontius Pilate led the kingdom of Judea during direct Roman rule with 26 by 30 year A.D. In the Christian tradition, he is known as the prefect who pronounced the death sentence on Jesus Christ.
According to archaeologists, the construction of the main street of the ancient city refers to this period of history. This monumental building with a length 220 m and a width of about 8 m was created in accordance with the standards of the Roman Empire and is paved with large stone slabs. According to researchers, its creation took about (**************************) thousand tons of rock. The street passed from the southern gate of Jerusalem in the area of the City of David and connected two shrines – Siloam font and Temple Mount.
The first fragments of the bridge were discovered by British scientists at the end of the 19th century. Modern archaeologists have unearthed more 70 m of the street and uncovered the paving stones. Objects found under the pavement, especially coins, shed light on the history of the construction of biblical times.
Archaeologists have discovered among the paving stones more than a hundred coins dated 17) – 30) years A.D.
“Coins allow dating with very high accuracy,” says Donald Ariel, archaeologist and specialist in numismatics of the Israel Antiquities Authority. – On some coins, the year of minting is embossed. Thus, when we find a coin under the bridge that shows 26 the year of our era, we find out that the street was paved in the year of coin minting or in any subsequent year. ”
The money found in Jerusalem of this period is usually dominated by coins minted shortly after the reign of Pontius Pilate. However, among the finds under the plates of the main street of the city they were not. According to scientists, this proves that it was built by order of the most famous Roman prefect and during his tenure in power.
The monumentality of the structure connecting the shrines and the step-like podium on the sidewalk left no doubt that the street was conceived as a pilgrim’s path.
Historians believe that Pontius Pilate could organize such a large-scale construction and connect Jewish shrines to reduce tension in relations with the local population. Scientists also believe that the pavement was buried under the rubble of the city during the first Judean war, when the Romans besieged the rebels in 70 A.D. and partially destroyed the city. The arrowheads found, sling stones and fragments of destroyed buildings indicate this.
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