The Elephantine Papyri. Robert Hutto. Through the nineteenth century and into the beginning of the twentieth, a collection of papyri was found at and around a. The Elephantine papyri are written in Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Persian period from Asia Minor to Arabia and Upper. Egypt. In vocabulary, phraseology. One of the oldest collections of Jewish manuscripts, dating from the fifth century BCE, the Elephantine papyri were written by the Jewish community at.

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You may say in Egypt Retrieved 18 July Views Read Edit View history. In this case, Ananiah and Tamut already had a young son when the document was drawn up. Yahweh and the Elepuantine and Goddesses of Canaan. After lying in a warehouse for more than 50 years, the papyri were shipped to the Egyptian Department of the Brooklyn Museum.

The boundary description included here refers to the Temple of Yahou in Elephantine, now rebuilt eight years after its destruction in Eleephantine during a civil war conflict that arose out of a land dispute. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.

The discovery of the Brooklyn papyri is a remarkable story itself. As an institution, slavery in Egypt at that time differed in notable ways from the practice in some other cultures: They found at least eight papyrus rolls which were purchased by Charles Edwin Wilbour.

Elephantine Papyri – Ancient Near East

The Elephantine documents include letters and legal contracts from family and other archives: Both Sanballat and Johanan are mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah2: Be ritually clean and take heed. The “Petition to Bagoas” Sayce-Cowley collection is a letter written in BCE to Bagoasthe Persian governor of Judea, appealing for assistance in rebuilding the Jewish temple in Elephantine, which had recently been badly damaged by an antisemitic rampage on the part of a segment of the Elephantine community.


In the course of this appeal, the Jewish inhabitants of Elephantine speak of the antiquity of the damaged temple:. Nearly twenty-two years after her marriage to Ananiah, Tamut’s master released her and her daughter, Yehoishema, from slavery.

The property, in a town on Elephantine Island, named for the god Khnumwas located across the street from the Temple of Yahou and adjacent to the Persian family of Ubil’s Father. Further Elephantine papyri are at the Brooklyn Museum. So do you count fou[rteen days of the month of Nisan and] obs[erve the passover ], and from the 15th to the 21st day of [Nisan observe the festival of unleavened bread].

Because Tamut was a slave when she married Ananiah, the contract has special conditions: The Jews had their own temple to Yahweh [1] evincing polytheistic beliefs, which functioned alongside that of Khnum.

Elephantine Papyri

The welfare of my brothers may God [seek at all times]. As with all property transfers within a family, this papyti was described as made “in love”.

Brooklyn Museum of Art. The ‘Passover letter’ of BCE discovered inwhich gives detailed instructions for properly keeping the passover is in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin.

Elephantine papyri

Egyptian farmers discovered the archive of Ananiah and Tamut on Elephatine Island inwhile digging for fertilizer in the remains of ancient mud-brick houses. The Archives from Elephantine: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Egyptian slaves retained control over personal property, had professions, and were entitled to compensation.

They papjri a collection of ancient Jewish manuscripts dating from the 5th century BCE. Webarchive template wayback links Pages using citations with accessdate and no URL Commons category link from Wikidata.

Sachau, 6; Ungnad, 6; Cowley, Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elephantine papyri. No interest is charged but there is a penalty for failing to repay the loan by the agreed date.


To] my brethren Yedoniah and the Jewish garrison, your brother Hanani[ah]. There is evidence from excavations that the rebuilding and enlargement of the Khnum temple pzpyri Nectanebo II — took the place of the former temple of YHWH.

Three years after purchasing the house from Bagazust and Ubil, Ananiah transferred ownership of an apartment within the now renovated house to his wife, Tamut.

Drawn up thirty years after the preceding papyrus, this document is one of several that gradually transferred ownership of Ananiah and Tamut’s house to their daughter, Yehoishema, as payment on her dowry.

By the middle of the 4th century BCE, the temple at Elephantine had ceased to function. Ancient marriage documents generally formalized already existing relationships. Oxford University Press, The triumph of Elohim: Future children, however, would still be born slaves. The legal descriptions of the house preserve the names of Ananiah’s neighbors. The papyri suggest that, “Even in exile and oapyri, the veneration of a female deity endured.

Do not br]ing it into your dwellings but seal it up between these date[s. Yahwehand his wife, Tamut, who was previously an Egyptian slave owned by a Jewish master, Meshullam. The first modern indications as to the existence of this community were revealed in papyri bought by Giovanni Belzoni. It was rare for a slave to be freed. Princeton University Press, papyrl, pp. The eight papyri contained at the Brooklyn Museum concern one particular Jewish family, providing specific information about the daily lives of a man called Ananiah, a Jewish temple official; his wife, Tamut, an Egyptian slave; and their children, over the course of forty-seven years.