Despite the tense period, it seems that on the whole there were cordial relations between Jews and gentiles, and women were not too reluctant to take commercial or legal initiatives. Babatha appears to have been a businesswoman and the papers include records of her business dealings.
Was she one of the eight women whose bodies were found in the cave together with men and children? Did she leave her records in the cave and go elsewhere, never to return?
We cannot be certain, but it is clear that women like Babatha were crucial in maintaining a semblance of normal living. That in itself was also a form of defiance of the overlords.