Pontius Pilate's ring is discovered: Ancient copper jewellery may have belonged to Roman ruler say archaeologists after it was ignored for 50 years

A simple 2,000-year-old ring that was discovered 50 years ago near Bethlehem could have been worn by the man who crucified Jesus.

The ring, which is made from copper-alloy, bears the inscription ‘of Pilatus’ which experts believe refers to the infamous Pontius Pilate.

The intriguing artifact was one of many found in Herod’s burial tomb but only now have archaeologists spotted the curious inscription.

A simple 2,000-year-old ring that was discovered 50 years ago near Bethlehem could have been worn by the man who crucified Jesus

The stamping ring was found in 1969 by Professor Gideon Forster from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the fortress built by Hing Herod.

The palace was built between 23 and 15BC after Herod defeated the Parthians.

He decided to build a town and palace on the site 10 miles (16km) south of Jerusalem to celebrate his victory.

Roman officials ruling over Judea at the time would have been buried there.

The ring was one of thousands of artifacts found there in the 1960s and it was only recently cleaned and examined, revealing the inscription for the first time.

The words ‘of Pilatus’ were surrounded by a picture of a wine vessel.

‘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.

The name was a rare one at the time.

The Roman prefect (pictured, presenting Jesus) was known as an aggressive, tactless martinet, loathed in Jerusalem for his venality, violence, theft, assaults, abuse, endless executions and savage ferocity

The Roman prefect (pictured, presenting Jesus) was known as an aggressive, tactless martinet, loathed in Jerusalem for his venality, violence, theft, assaults, abuse, endless executions and savage ferocity

Pilate was the Roman governor serving under Emperor Tiberius between 26CE and 36CE.

He was known as an aggressive, tactless martinet, loathed in Jerusalem for his venality, violence, theft, assaults, abuse, endless executions and savage ferocity.

Guarded by his troops and watched by a tense crowd, he tried Jesus alongside two so-called thieves (probably rebels) and Barabbas.

The ring also belonged to someone who had status within the Roman cavalry, according to the paper published in the Israel Exploration Journal.

It would have been used to seal letters and stamp official documents.

A stamping ring would have been used by the governor for day-to-day work or by officials on his behalf.

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Pontius Pilate's ring is discovered: Ancient copper jewellery may have belonged to Roman ruler say archaeologists after it was ignored for 50 years

A simple 2,000-year-old ring that was discovered 50 years ago near Bethlehem could have been worn by the man who crucified Jesus.

The ring, which is made from copper-alloy, bears the inscription ‘of Pilatus’ which experts believe refers to the infamous Pontius Pilate.

The intriguing artifact was one of many found in Herod’s burial tomb but only now have archaeologists spotted the curious inscription.

A simple 2,000-year-old ring that was discovered 50 years ago near Bethlehem could have been worn by the man who crucified Jesus

The stamping ring was found in 1969 by Professor Gideon Forster from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the fortress built by Hing Herod.

The palace was built between 23 and 15BC after Herod defeated the Parthians.

He decided to build a town and palace on the site 10 miles (16km) south of Jerusalem to celebrate his victory.

Roman officials ruling over Judea at the time would have been buried there.

The ring was one of thousands of artifacts found there in the 1960s and it was only recently cleaned and examined, revealing the inscription for the first time.

The words ‘of Pilatus’ were surrounded by a picture of a wine vessel.

‘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.

The name was a rare one at the time.

The Roman prefect (pictured, presenting Jesus) was known as an aggressive, tactless martinet, loathed in Jerusalem for his venality, violence, theft, assaults, abuse, endless executions and savage ferocity

The Roman prefect (pictured, presenting Jesus) was known as an aggressive, tactless martinet, loathed in Jerusalem for his venality, violence, theft, assaults, abuse, endless executions and savage ferocity

Pilate was the Roman governor serving under Emperor Tiberius between 26CE and 36CE.

He was known as an aggressive, tactless martinet, loathed in Jerusalem for his venality, violence, theft, assaults, abuse, endless executions and savage ferocity.

Guarded by his troops and watched by a tense crowd, he tried Jesus alongside two so-called thieves (probably rebels) and Barabbas.

The ring also belonged to someone who had status within the Roman cavalry, according to the paper published in the Israel Exploration Journal.

It would have been used to seal letters and stamp official documents.

A stamping ring would have been used by the governor for day-to-day work or by officials on his behalf.

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