Archaeologists from Tel Aviv University in Israel recently uncovered a 2,000-year-old street in Jerusalem commissioned by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who sentenced Jesus to death. The scientists unearthed more than 100 coins dated between A.D. 17 and 31 trapped beneath the paving stones, meaning Jesus almost certainly walked the street during His earthly ministry.
The 26-foot-wide and one-third-mile-long street ascends from the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus cured a blind man, to the Temple Mount. Like many Roman roads, the street was paved with large stone slabs. The researchers, whose study appeared in the Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University on Monday, estimated the builders used about 10,000 tons of quarried limestone rock. The finely carved stones and ornate furnishings, like a podium with steps, displayed a high level of skill.
The street connects two of Jerusalem’s most important spots, the Siloam Pool and the Temple. “If this was a simple walkway connecting point A to point B, there would be no need to build such a grand street,” Joe Uziel and Moran Hagbi, archaeologists at the Israel Antiquities Authority and co-authors of the study, said in a statement.
The archaeologists found the street’s paving stones hidden beneath layers of rubble, likely left when the Romans captured and destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. —J.B.