Old Testament
Tanakh and Talmud

Are the archaeological claims that Jericho had been abandoned long before Joshua arrived true?

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2015-10-06 18:38:52

Jericho has at least twenty successive layers of civilization spanning thousands of years. It was settled, resettled and resettled. The central issue is not whether it was occupied or abandoned, but when. Traditional chronology places Joshua's leadership in 1272 to 1244 BCE, not 1400 BCE. Many people are unaware that secular sources and academic scholars often disagree concerning ancient dates by centuries, just as evolutionary scientists often disagree on dating by several orders of magnitude. Thus, those who choose to believe in the account of Joshua need not be worried by doubts.

See also:

Evidence of the conquest of Jericho

More about Joshua

Archaeology

Debunking the Bible-critics

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2015-10-06 04:55:01

Another answer from our community:Some believe it is not

true. It is noteworthy in the case of Jericho, unlike some other

sites such as Arad and Heshbon, that there is unanymity regarding

the site in question. Thus, if the Biblical account were true, it

should be able to be demonstrated from details uncovered. This is

of course assuming that evidence has not been obliterated or

detroyed by later settlement, as can happen.

In order to answer this question it would first be necessary to

detail the actual evidence that might be expected to be found were

the Biblical account to be true. This is not to say that this would

necessarily be found but that if found, as part of a correctly

understood chronology of the site, it would add credence to the

Biblical record. Woods found a layer of ash 3-foot deep over his

entire excavated area. This appears to be clear evidence of

largescale destruction by fire. Large stores of spring harvested

wheat that were barely touched were also discovered. The city seems

to have fallen after a very brief siege, whereas a walled city

would usually have been expected to hold out until starvation. The

account in the Book of Joshua matches all the evidence. The fact

that Jericho was conquered in the spring (deduced from the spring

wheat) also correlates to the biblical account that it was right

after Passover, the spring holiday.

Dr. Lawrence Stager, the respected professor of Archaeology in

Israel from Harvard University said this about Woods' work at

Jericho: "On the whole the archaeological assessment is not

unreasonable. There is evidence of destruction and the date isn't

too far wrong."

In addition to the excavations by Bryant Wood, earlier

excavations by John Garstang and Kathleen Kenyon, as well as an

earlier excavation by a German team established that all of the

expected evidence was found.

Another reason is that Kenyon dismissed the investigations of

John Garstang, even though he found pottery to date his findings

and dated the walls which fell as being from an earlier time. In

addition to this, she referred to the time of the construction of

the walls but not necessarily to the time of their destruction. It

is known that some ancient walls remained in use for centuries,

Jerusalem being a good example of this.

Another answer

Basing on a newer find of Modern day Archaeologist Kathleen

Kenyan and concurred by other Archaeologists, yes it's true that

the alleged Joshua's conquest of Jericho did not happen as written

in the Bible, because Jericho was completely deserted during

Joshua's time.

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2015-10-06 04:52:14

Yes it is true. Jericho had been occupied and abandoned several

times in its long history, but there was no city there at the time

of the supposed conquest of Canaan in 1400 BCE. Israel Finkelstein

and Neil Asher Silberman (The Bible Unearthed) say that

Jericho, Ai, Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim did not

exist at the time.


Professor Isserlin, Head of Department of Semitic Studies and

Reader in Semitic Studies at the University of Leeds, and author of

The Israelites, says that Jericho had fallen c 1550BCE and

afterwards there was only a very limited and impoverished

settlement, apparently unwalled, between 1425 and 1275, then

entirely abandoned.


Palestine was under Egyptian rule until the middle of the 12th

century BCE and Egyptian administrative centres were located in

Gaza, Yaffo and Beit She'an. Evidence of Egyptian presence

has also been discovered in many locations on both sides of the

Jordan River. That this is not mentioned in the biblical account

makes it clear that it was unknown to its author.


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