A section of the road on a gentle slope, aligned east–west, was cleaned (length c. 27 m, width c. 3.5 m; Figs. 2, 3) and several probes were excavated alongside it. The road was delimited on both sides by stone walls (W120, W121; width 1 m). The roadbed (thickness 0.6–0.8 m) consisted of earth and small fieldstones. Large stones that formed the paved surface were fitted together above the roadbed. This type of paving resembles that of later Roman roads (I. Roll and E. Ayalon 1974:144). An additional infrastructure was built along the northern side of W121; it consisted of small stones and soil (width 1.5–2.0 m) and was delimited by a wall (W122), built of one row of stones. This phenomenon is not known from other Roman roads and is apparently a later repair that was done to the road. The soundings excavated in the road yielded potsherds dating to the Iron Age, including kraters (Fig. 4:1, 2), cooking vessels (Fig. 4:4–6) and jugs (Fig. 4:10, 11) and potsherds from the Persian period, including a krater (Fig. 4:3) and a jar (Fig. 4:8). A pot (Fig. 4:7) and jar (Fig. 4:9), whose date is unclear, were also discovered. A clay bead (Fig. 4:12) was found together with the Iron Age assemblage. Other finds discovered in the excavation included four Roman milestones and two pedestals for placing the milestones on top (Table 1; Fig. 5), which were incorporated in the road at some point in time. One of the milestones was integrated as a curbstone in the road (Table 1, Basket 109; Fig. 6) and another milestone bears a Latin inscription that has not yet been deciphered (Fig. 7). It seems that the road continued to be used long after the Roman period and maintenance work was conducted on it over the years.
Remains of a building (8 × 14 m; Fig. 8) that overlooks the road were documented next to it. The walls of the structure (width c. 1 m), built of large fieldstones, were preserved one or two courses high. The structure included five rooms (1–5), a large courtyard and probably two storerooms adjacent to the eastern side of the courtyard (6, 7). The entrance to Room 1 was preserved in its entirety. The entrance to Room 2 did not survive; however, it seems to have been located opposite the entrance to Room 1. The building was reached by way of an ancient road (Fig. 9), built of small stones, founded on the bedrock and delimited by two curb walls (W140, W141). A probe excavated in the road was devoid of any ceramic finds.
The excavated Roman road circumvents the road that passed the region of Antipatris (Rosh Ha-‘Ayin), which was a swampy area and difficult to negotiate. The road was well-preserved and the milestones and pedestals incorporated in it show that it was maintained after the Roman period. Several farms from the Iron Age were discovered in the region in the past and their plans resemble that of the building discovered alongside the road (H. Torge. 2006. The Mountain Fringes of the Yarkon Basin in the Iron Age. MA Thesis. Tel Aviv University. Tel Aviv, p. 74). It is possible that the similarity in the plans and the Iron Age potsherds discovered in the excavation show that the building may date to the Iron Age.
Table 1. Dimensions of the milestones’ bases, cylinders and pedestals.
Base (m)
Cylinders (m; upper diam.; lower diam.; length)
Pedestals (m)
Kind of stone
1.7; 1.6; 1.05
Soft limestone; an inscription
1.5; 0.68
Soft limestone
0.64; 0.67; 0.71
Soft limestone
0.43 × 0.43 × 0.54
1.7; 1.7; 1.06; Fig. 6
Soft limestone
0.48 × 0.90 × 1.38
Hard stone; square recess in its center (Fig. 5)
1.23; 1.38; 1.34
Soft limestone
0.3 × 0.4 × 0.5
0.65; --; 1.27
Soft limestone
0.27 × 0.76 × 0.78
Hard stone