We may now turn to the city wall of the Persian period restored by the returning exiles. As we have seen, the minimalists (including such eminent archaeologists and scholars as the late Michael Avi-Yonah, Yoram Tsafrir of Hebrew University, Hugh Williamson of Oxford University, Hanan Eshel of Bar-Ilan University and Ephraim Stern of Hebrew University) limit the wall of Persian period Jerusalem to the City of David.
There is no doubt that the walls of the city were partly (but not completely) destroyed when the Babylonians conquered the city in 586 BCE (see, for example, Nehemiah 1:3; 2:3, 17). They also destroyed Solomon’s Temple along with much of the rest of the city and deported its citizens to Babylonia. In Jerusalem, “Only the poorest people in the land were left” (2 Kings 24:14).
The Papyrus Anastasi I (pBM 10247 – British Musem) . The Anastasi Papyrus is a satirical letter dating to the early Ramesside era (Late Bronze to Early Iron Age). The text survives in several copies of varying levels of completeness. One fragmentary copy of the text can be dated to the reign of Ramesses III. Since the name of Ramesses II appears in several passages, Gardiner is inclined to date it to this Pharaoh’s reign, at the earliest (Gardiner 1964: 2, 4).