Researchers say ancient ring may bear Pontius Pilate name

Israeli researchers say an inscription on an ancient ring discovered near Jerusalem may include the name of Pontius Pilate, the Roman official who Biblical accounts say sentenced Jesus to death.

Researchers say ancient ring may bear Pontius Pilate name
The ring bearing the name of Pontius Pilate was found at Herodium, an archaeological site near Jerusalem
and Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP]

It would be a rare example still in existence of an inscription with the name of the man believed to have sent Jesus to his crucifixion.

The researchers recently announced their analysis of the inscription on the ring — which was actually found some 50 years ago — in Israel Exploration Journal. The journal is published by the Israel Exploration Society and the Institute of Archaeology at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

They say the copper-alloy ring, dated to around 2,000 years ago and used to apply a seal, was found at Herodium, an ancient palace built by King Herod near Jerusalem and Bethlehem, today located in the occupied West Bank.

The palace later became a fortress for Jewish rebels fighting the Romans.

An inscription in Greek letters reads “of Pilatus”, while the ring also depicts a wine vessel known as a krater.

Researchers say ancient ring may bear Pontius Pilate name
Views and cross-section of finger ring that may have belonged to Pontius Pilate
[Credit: drawing: J. Rodman; photo: C. Amit, IAA Photographic Department,
via Hebrew University]

The researchers say it is unlikely that the ring belonged to Pilate himself, though possibly to a member of his administration or someone else entirely.

“Since the inscription on the ring reads ‘of Pilatus’, the first association that comes to mind is Pontius Pilatus, the prefect of the Roman province of Judaea 26–36 CE, under Emperor Tiberius Caesar,” they write.

It adds however: “Since the name Pilatus is rare, it is not inconceivable that this ring belonged to Pontius Pilatus himself. However, we think it implausible that a prefect would have used a simple, all-metal, copper-alloy personal sealing ring with a motif that was already a well-known Jewish motif in Judaea before and during his rule.”

The Israel Museum says the only other object from Pilate’s time bearing his name is a stone with an inscription found in Caesarea, today located in Israel along the Mediterranean coast.

The stone is part of the museum’s collection.

Source: AFP [December 02, 2018]

TANN

Archive

Getting the Drop Droplets are normally a menace to…

Getting the Drop

Droplets are normally a menace to manufacturing – from architecture to engineering to cooking, dribbles forming where they shouldn’t have unpredictable effects. Here, scientists are showing drops of liquid plastic who’s boss – forcing them into patterns that may change our lives. Drops form after a tug-of-war between surface tension – the ‘stickiness’ of a surface – and gravity. Playing with these competing forces, by spinning these coated discs at different speeds, grows or shrinks the plastic drops (coloured purple). Changing the patterns etched into the surfaces leaves them clinging on in precise designs – some mimicking biological phenomena like the tiny ciliary carpets of hairs found in our airways. Creating such ‘soft materials’ usually requires expensive moulds, but here a quick spin may create structures to help deliver drugs, or support tissues inside our bodies.

Written by John Ankers

You can also follow BPoD on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Archive link

Early Bronze Age graves found in southern Poland

Excavations carried ahead of the Pinczow bypass in southern Poland revealed two burials of the so-called Early Bronze Age Mierzanowice culture, dating to about 2,000 BC.

Early Bronze Age graves found in southern Poland
Early Bronze Age grave found in Pinczow [Credit: Agata Chrobot]

The first grave contained the skeleton of a man, five clay vessels (two almost whole, three broken), and five arrowheads. It is unclear at present whether the individual in the second grave is male or female.

Early Bronze Age graves found in southern Poland
Early Bronze Age grave found in Pinczow [Credit: Agata Chrobot]
Early Bronze Age graves found in southern Poland
Post holes from a Neolithic ‘long house’ found in Pinczow [Credit: Agata Chrobot]

The excavations were carried out in the immediate vicinity of the 767 road from Pińczów to Busko-Zdrój. Archaeologists discovered a total of 214 archaeological objects, including remains of a ‘long house’ and arrowheads from the Neolthic period, an iron knife from the Roman period, as well as several hundred fragments of ceramics from the Neolithic period to the Middle Ages.

Early Bronze Age graves found in southern Poland
Arrow heads found in the first grave at Pinczow [Credit: Agata Chrobot]
Early Bronze Age graves found in southern Poland
Remains of furnace found in Pinczow [Credit: Agata Chrobot]

On the road 767 from Pińczów to Busko-Zdrój, archaeologists also excavated the remains of a 2,000 year old iron-smelting furnace.
All findings will probably be exhibited in the Regional Museum in Pinczow.

Source: Echodnia [December 02, 2018]

TANN

Archive