|The Ancient Fortified City of Jericho|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Saturday, 03 October 2009 03:51|
The Ancient Fortified
City of Jericho
Jericho ranks second only to Jerusalem in the number of archaeological excavations because it contains some of the world's most important historic sites that are related to the Bible. Jericho's contribution to civilization is unique. From the architectural and construction view point the walls and towers of Jericho even preceded the pyramids of Egypt.
Facts from the Archaeological Excavations
One of the most significant discoveries of the archaeological excavations is the Neolithic tower on the western perimeter of the site. The word “Neolithic” refers to the Stone Age that is characterized by the development of settled agriculture and the use of polished stone tools and weapons.
The Holy Bible informs us that “Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” (Gen. 4:2) Cain’s son Enoch had built a city (Gen. 4;17). Tubal Cain, the eighth generation from Cain was “an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron.” (Gen. 5:22) Canaan is the grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:6). He and his descendants settled down in the land of Canaan and built the ancient city of Jericho (Gen. 10:19).
The two illustrations above are drawn to the same scale for the purpose of comparison in size. The size of the excavated site is about 10 acres = 4 hectares, which is close to 7 city blocks in Houston, Texas. The length is 1,497 feet = 456 meters. The width is 525 feet = 160 meters. The height is 65 feet = 19.8 meters.
Wall Construction System
The fortified city of Jericho had used the Double Redoubtable Wall construction system that was used to build fortresses in Europe during the Medieval Age.
Collapse of the Wall
Archaeological excavations indicate portions of the walls of the fortified city have collapsed outwards. The fallen mud bricks and the stone rubble had formed ramps for the invading Israelites to enter the city (Josh. 6:20).
• The inhabitants had no time or opportunity to flee with their foodstuffs (Joshua 6:1).
• The siege was short (Joshua 6:15).
• The walls were leveled, possibly by an earthquake (Joshua 6:20).
• The city was not plundered (Joshua 6:17-18).
• The city burned (Joshua 6:24).
All archaeologists agree that the wall fell down, but they differ on the date. Dr. Bryant Wood's conclusions are the most informed and he dated the destruction of the wall to the time of Joshua (1400 B.C.).Time of the Fall of Jericho
The Bible tells us when Jericho fell. 1 Kings 6:1 states the fourth year of King Solomon's reign over Israel was 480 years after the Israelites left Egypt, or 440 years after they entered the Promised Land. Since Solomon's fourth year was about 960 B.C., Jericho's walls fell 440 years earlier, or about 1400 B.C. At the Jericho excavation site there is evidence that one level of the city's layers represents its destruction at about that time.
Dr Garstang, Director of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine, and his assistants examined over 100,000 potsherds (fragments of pottery) from the excavated site of Jericho and from these he dated the destruction of the city to the middle of the Late Bronze Age (c. 1400 BC in conventional dating). This corresponds to the biblical dating of Joshua and the Children of israel’s conquest of the fortified city of Jericho.
There is a large grain supply found in the burnt debris of Jericho City IV. In fact, grain was the most abundant item found by professor Kenyon, apart from pottery.
Successful attackers would normally remove valuable grain after capturing a city. However the Israelites by divine command, were forbidden to take anything from Jericho. 'This could explain why so much grain was left to burn when City IV met its end,' wrote Dr Wood. For this amount of grain to have been stored, the city would have to have been destroyed in the spring of the year, shortly 'after harvest time, not before,' Dr wood emphasises.
This is consistent with the biblical account that Jericho was destroyed after only seven days (Josh. 6: 15, 20). Evidence from radio-carbon dating also supports the conclusion that City IV was destroyed around 1400 B.C. One carbon-14 sample taken from a piece of charcoal found in the debris of City IV was dated to 1410 B.C.
May God bless you
This article was a presentation by Paul Wong
to the ARK Forum on March 7, 2006.
It was published on this Website on October 4, 2009
Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2009 03:18|