The battle of Jericho is one of the bloodiest episodes of the Old Testament. It’s a fantastic tale of victory through faith but is there any truth behind story? Archaeologist, Dr Bryant Wood, believes the physical evidence indicates the biblical account is true.
In the biblical version of events, Joshua and his men lay siege on the fortified city for seven days. On the seventh day, they blow their trumpets and its walls come crashing down. The Israelites raze the city, killing every man, woman and child.
Today, the city of Jericho lays claim as one of the oldest cities in the world. Here, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of over twenty settlements, including an ancient city dating to the late Bronze Age that shows clear signs of destruction. However, the widely accepted scholarly opinion was that it was destroyed in 1550 BCE- long before the time of the Israelite conquest. If there was no city at the time of Joshua, is the story mere fiction?
For Bryant Wood, Jericho is an archaeological puzzle waiting to be solved. On re-examining the evidence that was excavated, Wood, an expert in Canaanite pottery, dated its destruction to 1450 BC- the time of the Israelite conquest. But his investigation didn’t stop there, incredibly he also discovered evidence that he believes corroborates numerous aspects of the biblical version of events.
Re-examining the Israelite conquest from a military perspective is military historian Professor Richard Gabriel. Drawing on clues within the biblical narrative, he is able to paint a portrait of Joshua as a brilliant strategist and perhaps, one of the greatest military commanders of the ancient world.