Redating the exodus
It could not be said that the Israelites conquered the city by starving out the inhabitants.Most of the store-rooms ‘were found to be stacked with grain bins containing charred remains of barley, oats, millet and sesame, as well as a special kind of sealed jar which still retained traces of wine and barley-beer’.Kenyon concluded that an earthquake had brought the walls down.‘The face of the wall can be seen fallen outwards from the stone foundations.’ This earthquake apparently came at a very convenient time for the invaders who brought this Early Bronze Age to an abrupt end.Unfortunately, since then, rain and wind have blurred the trenches and pits and it is sometimes difficult to identify what has been found.The Early Bronze Age people paid a lot of attention to rebuilding and strengthening the already massive walls, but it all came to a disastrous end.
Investigations along the west side show continuous signs of destruction and conflagration.The layers of ash, in beautiful pastel shades of blues, greys and pinks, suggesting brushwood or thatch as did the other fire, come right down against the stones of the foundations, showing that they were exposed when the fire took place.The brickwork, normally mud-coloured, is burnt bright red throughout, clear evidence of the strength of the conflagration ...Click here for larger view , or rather later, a major catastrophe overwhelmed the aged city … An entirely new culture, that of the middle Bronze Age [MB], replaced the old.Moreover the change was general, and it affected in similar fashion all the great cities of the highlands above the Jordan Valley … These traces of occupation, to quote from our formal report at this time, indicate the incoming of a people without resources or aptitude for building.’ At the time of its destruction Jericho was well-stocked with food.
Search for redating the exodus:
Garstang dated these walls to the Late Bronze Period and this would have fitted the Bible date, but Kenyon wrote: ‘We have nowhere been able to prove the survival of the walls of the Late Bronze Age, that is to say, of the period of Joshua.