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Title / Description: Order from Bar Kochba to Yoshia b. GilgulaCommentary: Wadi Muraba'at is a group of caves in the Judean Hills on the way from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. The caves are famous for yielding letters and artifacts dating to the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (132-135 CE), although remains dating as far back as the Chalcolithic (4500-3300 BCE) were also found in their vicinity. The caves' contents were first discovered by local Bedouin, and the caves were consequently excavated by archaeologists. At one point, the caves seem to have served as a refuge for rebels (and their families) during the Bar-Kokhba revolt. Weapons, textiles, and tools were found in the caves, as well as a trove of documents, one of which is pictured here. This specific letter is from the administrators of Beth Mashiko to Joshua son of Galgula concerning the ownership of a certain cow. Some of the other documents found in the caves definitively date to the period of the Revolt, and indeed several are from Bar-Kokhba himself. There are also fragments from Biblical texts, including most of the Minor Prophets and fragments of Deuteronomy and Isaiah.
Provenance: Wadi Murabba'at, Israel
Object Type: image - manuscript
Date: 2nd c. CE
The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol. 3; Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 6
For a translation of this letter, see http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/westsem/cow.html
Author of Commentary: Adam Mendelson
Source: Meeks, Wayne A. Wayne Meeks slide collection