New Documents from Judean Exiles in Babylonia (572–477 BC)

A new publication has brought to light a collection of ancient documents from Judeans living in Babylonia from 572–477 BC. According to the news report by Haaretz

The collection consists mainly of administrative certificates – sales bonds, contracts and addresses, engraved in Akkadian Cuneiform script on clay tablets, some of which were fired in kilns.

Thanks to the Babylonian custom of inscribing each document with the date, according to the monarch’s years in power, the archaeologists could date the tablets to 572-477 B.C.E. The earliest tablet in the collection was written some 15 years after the First Temple’s destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean king of the neo-Babylonian era, who deported the Jews to Babylon. The latest was written some 60 years after the return of some of the exiles to Zion, which was enabled by Persia’s King Cyrus in 538 B.C.E.

Go HERE for the fuller story.

One of the clay tablets on display in the Bible Lands Museum exhibit. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi.

The publications:

  • Documents of Judean Exiles and West Semites in Babylonia in the Collection of David Sofer by Prof. Laurie Pearce (CDL Press)
  • By the Rivers of Babylon, by Wayne Horowitz, Yehoshua Greenberg and Peter Zilberg, (Bible Lands Museum and the Israel Exploration Society).