Researchers in Israel have discovered an engraved stone that identifies Gargilius Antiquus as Judea's Roman governor at the time of the Bar Kochba Revolt.
Though it is well known that the revolt, a failed attempt to overthrow Roman rule in the area, occurred in the early half of the second century AD there has been less certainty about the identity of the Roman charged with overseeing the area during that period.
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The name Gargilius Antiquus did come up in a previous research endeavour but it was not linked to a specific place.
As a result there was a great debate concerning whether he was a ruler of Syria or Judea.
Following the revolt, Romans merged the region with Syria, creating the Syria-Palestina province and eradicated all mentions of the previous name.
One of the researchers said: "What we have here is an inscription dated to just before Judea ceased to exist as a province under that name. Because such findings are so rare, it is unlikely that we will find many later inscriptions including the name Judea."
The block, which weighs roughly 1,300 pounds, was found in Tel Dor, an underwater site, around 20 miles from Haifa.