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Published: 23 February 2017

302 Pages | 20 Line drawings; 1 Map


ISBN: 9780198767169

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Babatha's Orchard

The Yadin Papyri and an Ancient Jewish Family Tale Retold

Philip F. Esler

  • Applies the new historical methodology of archival ethnography
  • Advances the study of the Nabataean legal texts in their social context
  • Examines the earliest four documents of an archive of the Jewish woman Babatha found in the Cave of Letters by the Dead Sea in 1961 — Papyri Yadin 1-4, the first from 94 CE and the others from 99 CE, and all drafted in Nabataean Aramaic
  • Explains the story behind these papyri, concerning the unusual events by which Babatha's father, Shim 'on, purchased a date-palm orchard in 99 CE
  • For the first time, identifies the character of P. Yadin 4 and the names of its two parties