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Babatha was a Jewish woman who lived in the province of Arabia in the first half of the 2nd cent. ce. Her documents, composed in Nabataean, Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, were discovered hidden in a leather pouch in a cave near the Dead Sea. The date of the documents ranges from 96 to 134 ce. It is probable that Babatha died in the cave after taking refuge there during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132–5). The documents include marriage contracts, property transfers, and papers concerning a protracted lawsuit over the custody of Babatha's son by her first marriage. They are a precious source of evidence for the history of the region in the last years of the Nabataean kingdom and the early years of the provincia Arabia, and for the cultural and legal history of Jews in this period.


N. Lewis (ed.), Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters: Greek Papyri (1989).Find this resource:

    Y. Yadin and others (eds.), The Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters: Hebrew, Aramaic and Nabataean—Aramaic Papyri (2002).Find this resource:

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