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Levantine Epigraphy and Samaria, Judaea and Idumaea during the Achaemenid Period

Levantine Epigraphy and Samaria, Judaea and Idumaea during the Achaemenid Period

Chapter:
(p.75) III Levantine Epigraphy and Samaria, Judaea and Idumaea during the Achaemenid Period
Source:
Levantine Epigraphy and History in the Achaemenid Period (539-322 BCE)
Author(s):
André Lemaire
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265895.003.0003

The publication of the Samaria papyrus discovered in a Wadi ed-Daliyeh cave north of Jericho and the knowledge of the Samaria coinage help to fix the chronology of the Samaria governors from the second half of the 5th century BCE till Alexander. They reveal the practice of slavery as well as a mostly yahwist population, if one can judge from their personal names and the building of a temple on Mount Garizim. At the same time, they indicate some strong foreign (Aramaean, Phoenician, Babylonian, Persian, Idumaean, North-Arab and Greek) influence. The administration of the Judean province receives now some light from a few ostraca and from numerous seal-impressions as well as the 4th century BCE coinage. These short inscriptions allow us to precise the limited extent of the province while Elephantine papyrus help to fix the chronology of its governors and high priests. Southern Cisjordan was first part of the North-Arab kingdom of Kedar and became an Achaemenid province called ‘Idumaea’ only at the beginning of the 4th century BCE. About 2000 Aramaic ostraca reveal, for this last century, a well organized administration as well as a mixed population with Edomite, North-Arabic, Aramaean, Hebrew and Phoenician names.

Keywords:   Samaria, Judaea, Idumaea, Kedar, Sanballat, Torah, Taxes

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