What Archaeology Tells Us About Joshua’s Conquest| National Catholic Register

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Moses died around 1250 BC (which date I accept). According to the Bible, Joshua took over as his successor and as military leader of the Israelites. And it’s said that he led a campaign to conquer cities in Canaan, in order to take control of the “promised land.” Christians believe that Joshua acted as an agent of God’s judgment in these conquests. The Canaanites were ripe for judgment, but that vexed topic is for another article. The question I am taking up is whether there is any archaeological evidence for Joshua entering Israel and conquering cities, in the late Bronze Age (about 1550-1200 BC) and early Iron Age (1200-1000 BC). The first evidence has to do with the altar on top of Mount Ebal (near Schechem or present-day Nablus in the West Bank). For the biblical references, see Deuteronomy 27:1-13 and Joshua 8:30-35. The late Dr. Adam Zertal was Professor of Archaeology at the University of Haifa. In April 1980, when exploring Mount Ebal, he discovered an interesting structure made of stones, unlike anything he had previously observed. He published his initial findings and conclusions along these lines in his 1985 article in Biblical Archaeology Review, “Has Joshua’s Altar been Found on Mount Ebal?” He wrote there:

What Archaeology Tells Us About Joshua’s Conquest| National Catholic Register

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