The city of Jericho occupied multiple sites during its long history. Tell es-Sultan contains settlement remains from the Mesolithic (9000 BCE) to the Persian period, while Tulul Abu el-ʿAlayiq was settle from the Hellenistic period to the Early Arab period. Modern Jericho lies 2km south. Although excavation a number of times prior to 1950’s, Kathleen Kenyon’s excavation at the time is the first to use reliable archaeological methods, though much can still be gleaned from past attempts. The city has figured prominently in debates about the historicity of the biblical conquest accounts. Although a wall and tower were discovered in Jericho, they are dated to around 8000 BCE, and it is debatable whether these were defensive structures or had other purposes. A town wall form the EB layer, was initially thought to be Jericho’s wall from the Bible, but this has been corrected. A destruction layer is present, but is attributed to the general MB destruction following the expulsion of the Hyksos. Jericho of the LB was unfortified, small, and poor. This data has contributed to the reanalysis of the claims of the essential historicity of the exodus account.


ABD III:723-740; NIDB 3:236-240

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