“Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea, has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius.”
In 1961, archaeologists discovered a plaque fragment at Caesarea Maritima, an ancient Roman city along the Mediterranean coast of Israel. The plaque was written in Latin and imbedded in a section of steps leading to Caesarea’s Theater.
The “Pilate Stone” is historically significant because it dates to Pilate’s own lifetime. It is contemporary evidence. Yet — powerfully illustrating the distinctly random nature of archaeological discovery — the excavators could easily have missed it, simply discarding it as rubble. By the fourth century, it had been incorporated into a set of stairs in Caesarea’s Herodian theater. There, the inscription faced downward — fortunately, because that position preserved it from being worn away!