DISCUSSION

Mount Ephraim and Benjamin

60. The Fourth Mile - (Kh. Hawanit ?)


Michael Avi-Yonah (The Madaba Mosaic Map, Jerusalem 1954, 60)
According to the rules of the Roman cursus publicus the horses were changed every fourth mile and a road station existed for that purpose on this point. The remains of such a station were found at Khirbet el Hawanit on the fourth mile of the Bethoron road.

Editors' note: Differences in the identification of this place arise from the different roads existing in the region west of Jerusalem. Avi-Yonah believe that the Bethoron way is indicated. A different solution is hereby proposed by Israel Roll. This road may be also of importance for the Emmaus gospel (Lc 24,13-34). See n. 69: Nicopolis - Amwas.


Different Roman Roads from Jerusalem to Nicopolis

Israel Roll (in The Madaba Map Centenary, 112)
Several sites depicted on the mosaic map of Madaba indicate that its makers used data drawn from road-maps and itineraria. Between Jerusalem and Jaffa, a series of places known to be located along the two connecting highways between them, are shown on that map. These are: Bethoron, Kaperouta, Modeim, Adita and Lydda/Diospolis, which bordered, in that sequence, the northern highway - known as the Bethoron road. Also are mentioned Nicopolis, Enataba and Betoannaba, that belonged to the parallel southern road, via Emmaus. The very mentioning of two mile-stations, the fourth (to tetarton), and the ninth (to ennaton), clearly indicate a road-map origin. Those two sites could be identified with two traditional road-stations of the southern highway which possessed plenty of water, that is, Colonia (today Motza) located at the distance of four miles from Jerusalem, and Kiriat Jearim (today Abu Ghosh) - at nine miles from it. (See also the complete article)

For more sources and bibliography see:
Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea - Palaestina (Jerusalem 1994) s.v. "To tetarton", 251.

Map Section 5 Place Sources

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Created Tuesday, December 19, 2000 at 23:39:47
by Eugenio Alliata ofm in collaboration with Stefano de Luca ofm
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000