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There was no city there at the time Joshua supposedly conquered it." Some 30 years after her excavation of the site – indeed, 12 years after Kenyon’s death – the detailed evidence has now become available in the final report. Ancient Jericho is located at Tell es-Sultan, next to a copious spring on the western edge of the Jordan Valley, just north of the Dead Sea.The site’s excellent water supply and favorable climate (especially in winter) have made it a desirable place to live from the very beginning of settled habitation.The story of the Israelite conquest of Jericho (Joshua 2-6) is one of the best known and best loved in the entire Bible.The vivid description of faith and victory has been a source of inspiration for countless generations of Bible readers.Any military force attempting to penetrate the central hill country from the east would, by necessity, first have to capture Jericho.And that is exactly what the Bible (Joshua ) says the Israelites did. Scarred with the trenches of past digs, the impressive mound stretches from top to bottom in this overhead view.But did it really happen as the Bible describes it?
The approximate line of this wall is indicated by the dashed line. This destruction, she concluded, was far too early to ascribe to the Israelites.
In the 1930s, British archaeologist John Garstang excavated a residential area, marked "A," just west of the perennial spring that supplied the city’s water and which now fills the modern reservoir. Kathleen Kenyon, Garstang’s successor at Jericho, excavated the area marked "B," Her conclusions dated Jericho’s destruction to about 1550 B. By the time the Israelites appeared on the scene, she argued, there was no walled city at Jericho.
(A significant portion of the tell was destroyed to make way for the modern road.) Signs of a fiery destruction and his dating of the remains led Garstang to conclude that the Israelites had indeed put the city to the torch about 1400 B. Garstang was the first investigator to use modern methods at the site, although his work was still crude by today’s standards.
Because of its importance in Biblical history, Jericho was the second site in the Holy Land, Jerusalem being the first, to feel the excavators’ picks.
The first documented excavation was undertaken in 18 by the famous British engineer Charles Warren.