Wadi Dāliya

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WADI DĀLIYA , valley 12 mi. (c. 19 km.) N.W. of Jericho. In 1962 Bedouin discovered a number of papyri in the Maghārat Abu Shinjah in Wadi Dāliya. The cave was cleared in 1963 by P. Lapp. The finds included over 200 skeletons, jewelry, 128 seals of documents, and a number of legal documents from Samaria, dated 375 (or 365) b.c.e. The Aramaic documents mention Yoshua son of Sanballat (ii) the (hereditary) governor of Samaria, and the prefect Hananiah. They mention conveyances of land, manumissions, and the sale of slaves (including one Nehemiah to the Samaritan noble Yehonur). The people in the cave seem to have fled there during the Samaritan revolt against Alexander the Great and appear to have perished in a Macedonian attack.


F.M. Cross, in: D.N. Freedman and J.C. Greenfield (ed.), New Directions in Biblical Archaeology (1969), 41–63.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]