"It is possible that this type of vessel was used by Jesus to wash his hands before eating," said Shimon Gibson, author of the recently published "The Final Days of Jesus -- The Archaeological Evidence."
Similar ritual artifacts have been found in the past at the archaeological dig just outside Jerusalem's Old City, but what makes this one rare is the writing engraved on it.
The letters, either ancient Hebrew or Aramaic, are legible though the meaning of the 10 lines of text is yet to be deciphered, according to Gibson who heads the University of North Carolina team conducting the dig.
"It is very rare to find this kind of inscription in Jerusalem," he said.
The artifact was found near a ritual bath currently being excavated, Gibson said.
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