“The name of Pontius Pilate, the Roman official who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ according to Christian scripture, has been deciphered on a bronze ring discovered some 50 years ago near Bethlehem.
The ancient ring was found in the late 1960s during an archaeological dig at the site of the Herodion fortress, built by Herod the king of Judea.
His name was deciphered on the ring after it, and thousands of other finds, were handed over to the team currently working on the historical site. Pilate was an infamous Roman governor of Jerusalem in the years 26 to 36 who also allegedly ran Jesus’ trial.
After a thorough cleansing, the ring was photographed using a special camera at the Israel Antiquities Authority Labs, revealing the crucial name. The stamping ring bears a picture of a wine vessel surrounded by Greek writing that translated into ‘Pilatus.’
A stamping ring was also a hallmark of status in the Roman cavalry, to which Pilate belonged. Researchers believe it was either used by Pilate in his day-to-day work as governor or by his team to sign his name on official documents.
‘I don’t know of any other Pilatus from the period and the ring shows he was a person of stature and wealth,’ Professor Danny Schwartz told Haaretz.”