Secret Archaeological Religious Finds
From the mysterious Pompei Paintings to pontius pilate’s ring here are 8 Religious Archaeological Finds You Probably Haven’t Heard About
8. Baptismal Font
In the 4th century, a church was built at the site where it is believed that Jesus Christ was born. The Byzintine-era structure still stands today and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in mid-2013, kicking off a restoration project to bring the beautiful building back to its former glory and preserve the artifacts that still existed inside. During these renovations, a team cracked into a large stone structure and were absolutely shocked to find an intricately crafted, still preserved baptismal font inside. The basin was relatively undamaged and oddly unrecorded in history books and church records but is believed to be from around the 5th or 6th century.
7. More Wine
In 1965, perhaps the most relatable artifact to ever be recovered was found in the desert fortress of Arad in Israel. The broken bit of pottery dates to around 600 BC, placing it right before the destruction of Judah. Seemingly just another piece of ancient pottery, the delightful significance of the shard was not discovered for a time. Researchers noticed writings talking about the grace of God and other topics on the front of the piece and, in a stroke of luck, noticed a small inscription on the back of the piece that raised a few eyebrows almost fifty years after its discovery.
6. Santa Claus Bone
An integral part of the Christmas season, very few children do not know about the lore surrounding Santa Claus. The jolly man in red comes every year to deliver presents to good kids and coal to bad ones across the globe, bringing with him cheer, magic, and a sleigh carried by flying reindeer. He is an icon known the world over but, oddly enough, it seems most people do not realize that he is actually based on a real man. St. Nicholas was born into a very wealthy family some time around the year 270 and donated much of his wealth and property to the needy, saving dozens of lives.
5. Pilate Stone
Pontius Pilate is regarded in religious settings as the evil, antisemetic man who ordered the death of Jesus Christ. The fifth roman prefect of Judea, he served under Emperor Tiberius from 26 to 36 AD. Though he is informally mentioned in countless works, there were no contemporary documents or references to prove he actually existed outside of word of mouth and Biblical interpretations for quite some time. Pilate made his base at an area known as Caesearea Maritima. It was here in 1961 that archaeologists discovered the broken, jagged piece of inscribed limestone from the 1st century that would come to be known as the Pilate Stone.
4. Thriving Armageddon
According to the Bible, the city of Megiddo was the site frequently chosen as a battleground due to its positioning causing it to overlook a very strategically positive area of Israel’s northern coastal plain. Called “Armageddon” when referenced in the Bible, Megiddo was portrayed as an area of brutality and fear. Contrary to this, one 2018 archaeological group discovered quite a few interesting things that might flip the picture we have of the city on its head. It appears that Armageddon was actually a thriving area! A tomb found near the area dating to the Biblical claims contained the bodies of many individuals, including one man who lived into old age.
3. Pompeii Paintings
Pompeii was once a thriving city on the coast of Italy’s western side. The Roman people lived well and were generally prospering in the area until around 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted suddenly, freezing the town for eternity in a layer of thick ash. Over thirty thousand people died in the natural disaster, their bodies preserved in hardened ash in their exact final pose. The entire city became a morbid snapshot of the moment tragedy struck.
2. Oldest Drawing of Christ
Across different cultures, Jesus Christ is portrayed in many different ways. Some places draw him as a white man while others opt for an appearance that suits his Middle Eastern heritage. Either way, it is safe to say that our best guesses as to the appearance of Jesus are at best just approximations. Amazingly, though, we may have a bit of a rough look into what he actually looked like. Researchers in 2018 announced that they had discovered a drawing of who they believe to be Jesus that dates to the Byzintine era, making it over 1,500 years old! It is believed that the short haired man was meant to be Jesus at his baptism, looking back at his followers with great peace and endearment.
1. Pontius Pilate’s Ring
As we mentioned before, there are only two archaeologically backed mentions in existence that support the existence of Pontius Pilate. The controversial leader ruled for about a decade and held much hostility towards his people, making him wildly unpopular and sparking uprisings and protests. A second piece was added to the evidence of Pilate in the 1960s: a copper ring.