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Home Forums Shiloh and the Tabernacle of the Lord The Lost Fortress: Finding the City of Ai Reply To: The Lost Fortress: Finding the City of Ai

  • Deborah Hurn

    November 1, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Miller, J. Maxwell. “Site Identification: A Problem Area in Contemporary Biblical Scholarship.” Zeitschrift Des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins (1953-) 99 (1983): 119–29.

    [122] 2. Locating the “Conquest Cities”

    The presupposition of an Israelite conquest of Canaan something on the order of that
    described in the book of Joshua and occurring at the end of the Late Bronze Age (thirteenth
    century B.C.) has also played a major role in discussions pertaining to biblical site identification during the past half century. It follows from the presupposition that the archaeological
    remains of cities mentioned in connection with the conquest should reflect Late Bronze Age
    occupation and that the cities which are said to have been destroyed by the Israelites should
    show evidence of thirteenth century destructions. As anticipated above, this was the
    reasoning behind Albright’s disqualification of the sites in the hill country south of
    Hebron as acceptable candidates for Debir. Debir is one of the cities which the Israelites are
    said to have conquered; yet there seemed to be no good candidate with LB remains in that
    part of the hill country.

    Debir represented but the beginning of what has turned out to be a pattern for the
    “conquest cities”.
    Specifically, the following identifications seem obvious on the basis of
    topographical clues derived from the Bible and comparisons of the ancient and modern
    names: Tell ‘Arad/Arad, Tell Hesban/Heshbon, Tell es-Sultan (near er-Riha)/Jericho, et
    Tell/ Ai, Tell el-Yarmuk/Yarmuth. However none of these sites, when excavated, produced
    any significant evidence of Late Bronze Age occupation
    , much less of thirteenth century
    destructions. In each case it has been suggested, specifically or in effect, that the identification be abandoned.