Pilate Stone

In the Bible, Pontius Pilate was a prefect of the Roman controlled province of Judea. Pilate tried to convince the crowd being urged by the chief priests and elders, that Jesus was innocent but the crowd still demanded the death of Jesus. Eventually before ordering the final command to sentence Jesus to death, Pilate washed his hands before the multitude, as a sign that he was innocent of the crime. Until recently, there was no contemporary evidence outside the Bible for Pilate's existence (although Tacitus, Josephus, and Philo all wrote about him). Then in 1961, Italian archaeologists excavating the theatre at Caesarea found this stone inscription of Pontius Pilate.

Antonio Ciseri's Depiction of Pilate Presenting a Scourged Jesus to the People of Jerusalem

The Pilate Stone is a block 82 cm x 65 cm of limestone with a carved inscription attributed to Pontius Pilate. The stone is significant because it is the only universally accepted archaeological find with an inscription mentioning the name "Pontius Pilatus" to date.

Pilate Stone

The partial inscription reads: [DIS AUGUSTI]S TIBERI√ČUM [...PO]NTIUS PILATUS [...PRAEF]ECTUS IUDA[EA]E [...FECIT D]E[DICAVIT] The translation from Latin to English for the inscription reads: To the Divine Augusti [this] Tiberieum ...Pontius Pilate ...prefect of Judea ...has dedicated [this] The Pilate Stone is currently located at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Cyrus Cylinder

King Ahaz's Seal

Pool of Bethesda