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In the past I've read about skeptics thinking that certain figures that the Bible lists as having historically existed didn't actually exist, but then later archaeology confirmed that they did. Does anyone know some good examples of these?

  • One could also ask about events once doubted, but later confirmed. – SLM Jan 19 '18 at 20:04
  • Archaeology rarely, if ever, confirms the existence of individuals. It tends to confirm the existence of civilizations. – Flimzy Jan 20 '18 at 9:12
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    @Flimzy That's just not true at all. Archaeologists dig up stuff all the time that confirms individuals: ancient ruins tend to be covered in writing from engravings around citys about benefactors of constructions projects, dedications to rulers, owners of houses, etc. to graves with complete family histories to city records with bargains cut with traders. And the list goes on. The field of Archaeology does often have evidence to offer about the historicity of individuals. – Caleb Jan 23 '18 at 10:10
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Bible critics questioned the existence of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who handed Jesus over to be impaled. (Matthew 27:1-26) Evidence that Pilate was once ruler of Judea is etched on a stone discovered at the Mediterranean seaport city of Caesarea in 1961.

enter image description here Inscribed on the stone is:

Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea, has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius.”

more info

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Not a person, but an entire people: Critics believed for a long time that the Hittites, spoken of in the Old Testament, never actually existed, due to a complete lack of evidence of a civilization that the OT hints was a great power for its day.

All that changed in the 19th century when a series of archaeological investigations began uncovering ruins of the Hittite civilization, who they eventually found had been a major regional power, comparable even to Egypt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hittites#Archaeological_discovery

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