Brooklyn Musem, Bequest of Theodora Wilbour/Photograph by Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, West Semitic Research

IN THIS MARRIAGE DOCUMENT, dated to July 3, 449 B.C.E., Ananiah, who was a Jewish temple official on Elephantine, asks Meshullam for the hand of his daughter Tamut. The manuscript belongs to a group of papyri and ostraca (inscribed potsherds) that allow a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of Ananiah and Tamut and of other Arameans and Jews at Syene and Elephantine during the first Persian occupation of Egypt (525–404 B.C.E.).