A copper ring unearthed during the 1968-69 excavations at the Herodium was recently cleaned, photographed and analyzed, revealing the name of Pilate. This discovery was announced in the latest issue of Israel Exploration Journal under the title, "An Inscribed Copper-Alloy Finger Ring from Herodium Depicting a Krater." The artifact itself is a simple stamping ring with the image of a Krater (a wine vessel) surrounded by Greek letters which translate to, "of Pilatus." It was found in a room at the Herodium with an archaeological layer dating no later than 71 AD. Given the rarity of the name Pilate in the first century, many are naturally asking whether this ring belonged to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect of Judea who sentenced Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified. The authors of the article write, "Simple all-metal rings like the Herodium ring were primarily the property of soldiers, Herodian and Roman officials, and middle-income folk of all trades and occupations. It is therefore unlikely that Pontius Pilatus, the powerful and rich prefect of Judaea, would have worn a thin, all copper-alloy sealing ring." They do allow that it may have belonged to someone under Pilate's command, a member of his family or one of his freed slaves. Another scholar has suggested that Pilate may have had a gold ring for official duties and a simple copper ring for his private, everyday affairs. This is only the second archaeological artifact discovered in Israel that bears the name of Pilate. The other is the famous "Pilate Stone," which was discovered in Caesarea Maritima in 1961 and refers to "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."