ELEPHANTINE

 

Elephantine is an island in the Nile River in southern Egypt. Papyri discovered there dating from the 5th c. BCE open a window on a Jewish community that served as a garrison for the Persian rulers of Egypt. In the papyri, Elephantine is called Yeb. Among the manuscripts (known as the Elephantine papyri) are letters about a Jewish temple in Elephantine, marriage and divorce contracts, and business contracts that illustrate many facets of Jewish life under the Persians.

 

Elephantine Island from the south

(www.bibleplaces.com)

 

Elephantine Island Excavations

(www.bibleplaces.com)

D. Falk, 2002

dfalk@oregon.uoregon.edu