It is now known to have existed in Aramaic as far back as the 5th century B.C., appearing on Jewish papyri which were lately discovered by the German mission to Elephantine.'
Papyri from a Jewish colony in Elephantine (407 B.C.) clearly show the form which royal permits could take, and what the Jews were prepared to give in return; the points of resemblance are extremely interesting, but compared with the biblical documents the papyri reveal some striking differences.
The mercenary troops at Elephantine mutinied and attempted to desert to Ethiopia, but were brought back and punished.
A granite gateway to the temple of Khnflm at Elephantine bears his name in hieroglyphic, and demotic documents are found dated in his reign.
A series of impressions from Greek seals was found at Selinus in Sicily, dating before 249 B.C.; a small collection of sealed Greek documents on papyrus of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. has been discovered at Elephantine in Egypt.