New Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine in Berlin


The famous German excavations between 1906 and 1908 of Elephantine Island in Egypt produced some of the most important Aramaic sources for understanding the history of Judeans and Arameans living in 5th century BCE Egypt under Persian occupation. Unknown to the world, many papyri fragments from those excavations remained uncatalogued in the Berlin Museum. In New Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine in Berlin James D. Moore edits the remaining legible Aramaic fragments, which belong to letters, contracts, and administrative texts.

To view supplementary material from the volume go here.
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James D. Moore, Ph.D. (2017, Brandeis University), is Lead Researcher of multiple projects pertaining to Judeans at the Humboldt University in Berlin. He has published widely on ancient Near Eastern history and texts as well as on the Bible.
"The present volume is a contribution to the study of these documents: a trove of very small fragments, not published by the editors of the previously published collections, and overlooked for nearly 80 years, found in the Berlin Museum.

James Moore, the editor, does yeoman’s work in reading, editing, and explaining the contents of these fragments, including in this volume of the collection all of the Aramaic fragments on which more than one word was legible. The tiny fragments are expertly placed in the context of the letters based on the formulae found in them and Moore’s reconstruction of the way in which they were folded and stored. The introduction to the volume is a wonderful exemplar of “museum archaeology,” in which Moore details the history of the Berlin trove of documents, and places it in the context of the discovery and previous publications of the Aramaic Elephantine documents.

The book is open access and so is available online to scholars of papyri and ancient epistolography who would want to consult the excellent introduction but would not have need for the edition of the minute fragments. The edition useful mainly for scholars of Aramaic, ancient Judaism and Elephantine." - Amit Gvaryahu, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Abbreviations and Notations
Sigla and Varia for Editions and Translations

Part I: The History of Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine Held in Berlin
Part II: Placing Fragments. Material and Textual Considerations

Texts and Commentary
 1 Texts Perpendicular to the Fibers
 2 Fragments Parallel to Fibers

Appendix 1: Papyri Register
Appendix 2: Paleography
Ancient Sources Cited
All interested in the history of Jews, Judeans, Arameans, Egyptians, and Persians from the middle of the first millennium BCE.
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