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.