Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ancient Greek inscription recovered from underwater at Dor

MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY: Israelis recover 1,900-year-old 'Judea' inscription hidden underwater. The Roman-era inscription may confirm the name of the local Roman governor in the period (i24news).
Israeli researchers from Haifa University have uncovered a 1,900-year-old inscription bearing the name of the Roman-era province of Judea after an underwater excavation at Dor Beach, in the Zikhron Yaakov area.

The inscription in Ancient Greek also bears the name of the Roman prefect who ruled the province in the second century CE.

The name of the prefect is not given in the article.

Cross-file under Epigraphy.

UPDATE: Haaretz now has an article on the inscription: Divers find unexpected Roman inscription from the eve of Bar-Kochba Revolt. A statue base from 1,900 years ago found at Dor survived shellfish and seawater, and to the archaeologists' shock, revealed a previously unknown governor of Judea (Philippe Bohstrom). It gives the name of the Roman prefect in question:
Gargilius Antiquus: A name set in stone, twice
The statue base found on the seabed at Dor is only the second known mention of the province of Judea in Roman inscription. The other is the "Pontius Pilate stone" dating to around 100 years earlier. Discovered by archaeologists in 1961 at the ancient theater in Caesarea, it is a rare piece of solid evidence mentioning Pilate, prefect of Judea, by name.

The newly found inscription, carved on the stone in Greek, is missing a part, but is thought to have originally read: “The City of Dor honors Marcus Paccius, son of Publius, Silvanus Quintus Coredius Gallus Gargilius Antiquus, governor of the province of Judea, as well as […] of the province of Syria, and patron of the city of Dor.”

The name Gargilius Antiquus had been known from another inscription previously found in Dor – as the governor of a province whose name was missing from that inscription. So far, reconstructions have suggested either Syria or Syria-Palaestina as the province he was governing. Dr. Gil Gambash, head of the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, and Yasur-Landau were excited to read on the new inscription that Gargilius Antiquus was in fact the governor of Judea, shortly before the Bar Kochba Revolt.
For more on him, read the whole Haaretz article.

UPDATE (2 December): The bad link to the Haaretz article is now fixed. Sorry about that; as you know, I have been away and busy. Meanwhile, that article has cleaned up some misunderstandings in the original, so I have replaced it with the corrected version in the quotation above.