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The city’s outer defenses consisted of a stone revetment wall at the base of the tell that held in place a high, plastered rampart.Above the rampart on top of the tell was a mudbrick wall which served as Jericho’s city wall proper.The first major excavation at Jericho was conducted by an Austro-German expedition under the direction of Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger from 1907 to 1909 and again in 1911.For example, they traced the Middle Bronze revetment wall around three-quarters of the base of the tell, although at the time they did not fully understand the complexities of the Middle Bronze fortification system.Before making the crossing, however, Joshua, the Israelite commander, dispatched two spies to reconnoiter the city.Narrowly escaping capture, the spies brought back valuable intelligence collected from Rahab, a harlot who lived within the city wall.Jericho’s abundant water supply, favorable climate and geographic location made it a key site in ancient Canaan.
A Neolithic settlement at the site goes back to about 8000 B. E.,* thus giving Jericho the distinction of being the world’s oldest city.
Archaeologists have long debated whether the Israelites in fact conquered Jericho. and there was no walled city at Tell es-Sultan for Joshua to conquer. when it was destroyed in a conquest strikingly similar to the Biblical account. However, it is about 150 to 200 years earlier than the time most scholars believe the Israelites were to be found as a people living in Canaan.
Dame Kathleen Kenyon, who excavated Jericho in the 1950s, claimed that Jericho was destroyed in the 16th century B. A comprehensive new survey of Kenyon’s evidence at Jericho, however, has led author Bryant Wood to conclude that a walled city existed at Jericho until about 1400 B. After wandering in the Sinai desert for 40 years, the Israelites prepared to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land from opposite Jericho.
The Israelites rushed into the city and put it to the torch.
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.
Based on the conclusion of the most recent excavator, British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon, most historians and Bible scholars would answer with a resounding "No, certainly not!