12720RE: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation
- Aug 16, 2010Dear Niels-Peter,
This is from my commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah (forthcoming).
The Jews were not the only community to return from Babylon to
their ancestral homeland under the Achaemenids. The 1926-27 excavations at
Neirab, Syria, unearthed an archive of clay tablets dating from the reign of
Nebuchadnezzar to the early years of Darius I (i.e., from 560 to 520 BCE)
which recorded loans of barley and silver. The documents all refer to a
people named the Neirabians, i.e., the people who lived in the city where
the archive was found. Yet the places where the transactions occurred were
in the vicinity of Nippur in Babylon. This was evidently the archive of a
community of Syrians which had been exiled to Nippur under Nebuchadnezzar
and which had been released to their own city in the beginning of Darius'
reign (Eph'al 1978). As with the Jews, they had maintained a community
identity in exile in Babylon for four decades, returning to their own city
as soon as they were able.
Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.
Department of Near Eastern Studies
and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
University of Michigan
202 S. Thayer -- Room 4111
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
From: ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:ANEemail@example.com] On Behalf Of
Niels Peter Lemche
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:36 AM
Subject: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation
Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:
Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
brought it up here).
I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
Niels Peter Lemche
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