236 Egypt and Israel papyri, discovered in 1906, give us detailed knowledge.1 The immense importance of these, over seventy, papyri, can hardly be overestimated; we can, however, do no more here than mention one or two points. Elephantine (its Semitic name is Yeb) was situated on an island in the Nile, on the frontier of Southern Egypt, so that, as far as we know, it was a military colony from the beginning. The papyri contain a record of historical events connected with the settlers during the years 525-407 B.C. as well as many details concerning their private affairs. As to the date of the first founding of this settlement, we have the following indication in one of the documents: 'Already in the days of the kings of Egypt (i.e. before the Persian conquest) our fathers had built that temple in the fortress of Yeb, and when Cambyses came into Egypt he found that temple built/ .Cambyses came into Egypt in 525 B.C., so that if the temple was already built then, the colonists must have been settled there for some time pre- viously; and this is borne out by what Aristeas says in his Letter, § 13—and he is well informed on Egyptian matters—that Jewish mercenaries had entered Egypt and fought in the army of Psammeticus, no doubt the second of this name is meant (593- 588), during his campaign against the Ethiopians; after this war the Jewish soldiers were settled hi Elephantine as a protection to the southern boundary of the kingdom. But a still earlier date for the original settlers is suggested by the fact of the existence of the temple, just referred to; for this implies ignor- ance of the Deuteronomic legislation; moreover, the colonists worshipped other gods besides Yahweh; both facts look like a continuation of pre-exilic customs and religious beliefs. In this case the original settlement must be dated some time during the seventh century B.C. 1 See especially, Sachau, Aramdische Papyrus and Ostraka aus einer judischen Militdrkolonie zu Elephantine (1911); Cowley, jezoish Documents of the time: of Ezra (1919), and Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century B.C. (1923).