Archaeologists in Jerusalem uncovered an especially well preserved section of an ancient Roman road that once ran all the way to Jaffa, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Tuesday.

The road section was found by the IAA during a dig in Beit Hanina, an Arab section in northeast Jerusalem. The excavation was performed prior to the installation of a drainage pipe in the area.

Excavation director David Yeger said the road section was the finest preserved section yet discovered in Jerusalem of what was once a major artery running from the coast to the heart of Judean hill country.

The road itself was around 8 meters wide, constructed of well worn flat stones and bounded by a curb, also made of stone. The road section showed signs of heavy use and also of several repairs.

“The Romans attached great importance to the roads in the empire,” Yeger said in a statement. “They invested large sums of money and utilized the most advanced technological aids of the period in order to crisscross the empire with roads. These served the government, military, economy and public by providing an efficient and safe means of passage.”

The Beit Hanina section was part of a Roman road that ran to the coast via the Horon pass, following the same route as the modern Route 443.