A recent study titled “Between Gaulanitis and Hippos: The Roman Road in the Southern Golan Heights in Context” was published in the Tel Aviv journal by Adam Pažout, Michael Eisenberg, and Mechael Osband.

This study brings new insights into the construction and utilization of a Roman road in the southern and central Golan Heights, shedding light on its historical and administrative significance.
Key Findings:

  1. Multidisciplinary Approach:
    • The study utilizes a range of methodologies, from spatial analysis to surveys and excavations, combining both new data and heritage information.
    • This comprehensive approach has allowed for a detailed synthesis of the Roman military presence in the Golan region.
  2. Construction and Historical Context:
    • The road was constructed in the 2nd century CE, with evidence pointing to milestones erected by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus in 161/2 CE.
    • This construction was part of a larger road-building and maintenance effort, possibly linked to preparations for the Parthian War (163–167 CE).
  3. Geospatial and Military Significance:
    • The road served as an additional east-west connection between the Mediterranean ports and inland Syria, enhancing military and administrative logistics.
    • The study highlights the strategic placement of the road and its lack of correlation with nearby Jewish settlements, suggesting either topographical constraints or deliberate security considerations.
  4. Watchtower System:
    • The research identifies a network of watchtowers along the road, which were either built concurrently with the 2nd-century road or more securely dated to the 3rd century CE.
    • This watchtower system indicates a coordinated effort in road security and surveillance.

The findings provide a deeper understanding of the Roman infrastructure in the Golan Heights and its broader implications for Roman military strategy and regional administration.

Further reading: Pažout, A., Eisenberg, M. & Osband, M. (2024). Between Gaulanitis and Hippos: The Roman Road in the Southern Golan Heights in Context, Tel Aviv, 51:1, 95-117, DOI: 10.1080/03344355.2024.2327802

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