Archaeologists now believe that Jerusalem’s “Pilgrim’s Road” was built by none other than Pontius Pilate, the infamous Roman governor of Judea.
The ancient road in the City of David, which was preserved under the ashes of the Roman sack of Jerusalem in 70 CE, was used by pilgrims to ascend from the Siloam Pool to the Second Temple, according to historical descriptions.
According to research published on Tuesday in the Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, the more than 100 coins found beneath the ancient road prove it must have been completed between 31 and 40 CE, a period mostly covered by Pilate’s governorship.
According to Dr. Donald Ariel, an archaeologist and coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Dating using coins is very exact. As some coins have the year in which they were minted on them, what that means is that if a coin with a date on it is found beneath the street, the street had to be built in the same year or after that coin had been minted.”
To further narrow things down, Ariel explained that “statistically, coins minted some 10 years later are the most common coins in Jerusalem,” and that because these coins are not found under the road, “the street was built before their appearance, in other words only in the time of Pilate.”
He suggested the possibility that Pilate had the street built to reduce tensions between the Romans and the Jewish population. Although “we can’t know for sure,” he said, “these reasons do find support in the historical documents.” Continue Reading….