Samaria Papyri



Samaria Papyri Cave

In the late fourth century, shortly after the invasion of Alexander the Great, a group of prominent Jewish citizens of Samaria died in a cave in the Wadi ed-Daliyeh north of Jericho. It appears that they had either fled the invading Greek soldiers or were forcibly marched to the wadi, where they were killed. Surviving among their physical remains was a cache of their personal legal documents. These documents, composed on papyri, mainly dealt with titles and sales of property, notably slaves. The most spectacular find, however, was a papyrus sealing. The personal seal of Samaria’s governor from the family of Ballat indicated that the grandson or great-grandson of Sanballat, the nemesis of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2-10; 3-33-34; 4-1), lay among the dead in the Wadi ed-Daliyeh cave.

Bedouin Find Papyri Three Centuries Older Than Dead Sea Scrolls, Paul W. Lapp, BAR 4-01, Mar 1978.


See also-

Jewish-Samaritan Relations (520 BCE-7th Century CE)