Tell es-Sultan

Tell es-Sultan is the site of ancient Jericho. And it was there the infamous wall of Jericho was found.


3D reconstruction of ancient Jericho:
Image … in-history

“Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-‘Alayiq between 1907–1909 and in 1911, finding the remains of two walls which they initially suggested supported the biblical account of the Battle of Jericho.”

It is the earliest walled city and had a surrounding wall as early as 8000 BC.

“the proto-city of Jericho in the West Bank had a wall surrounding it as early as the 8th millennium BC.”

“The Walls of Jericho are the oldest known city walls in the world and date back to at least 8000 BCE, but were most likely built much earlier.”

There have been several excavations of Jericho. One of the early excavators, Sellin and Watzinger, dug from 1907 to 1909. They found remains of a wall and suggested it was the wall of Jericho in the Bible.

Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger excavated Tell es-Sultan and Tulul Abu el-‘Alayiq between 1907–1909 and in 1911, finding the remains of two walls which they initially suggested supported the biblical account of the Battle of Jericho.

Next major excavation was done by John Garstang between 1930 and 1936 and dated the wall to around 1400 BC.

The site was again excavated by John Garstang between 1930 and 1936, who again raised the suggestion that remains of the upper wall was that described in the Bible, and dated to around 1400 BCE.

The next excavation was done by Kathleen Kenyon between 1952 and 1958. She dated the wall 150 years earlier to 1550 BC. Her dating was primarily based on the lack of any Cypriot bi-chrome pottery where she was excavating.

Kenyon’s date for the destruction of Jericho was not based on hard evidence that she uncovered in the destruction layer on the southwest slope or from her excavation trenches; rather, her date was primarily derived from the absence of a particular kind of imported pottery from the island of Cyprus in the Mediteranean Sea. … t-conquest

Josh 6:24 (KJV)
24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that [was] therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

The burn layer excavation included Egyptian artifacts from the early Exodus date.

Garstang found local Canaanite pottery from the time of Joshua and evidence for a massive destruction of the city by a fierce fire which left ash deposits up to 3 feet thick. In addition to this, he discovered Egyptian scarabs in pit tombs outside of Jericho that also indicated the city was occupied down into the Late Bronze I period. This included a rare scarab of the much maligned Hatshepsut (ca. 1506/4-1488 B.C.), and a rare seal from the reign of Thutmosis III (1506-1452 BC). … t-conquest

In Garstang’s excavation, he had discovered imitation Cypriot pottery.

Inexplicably, Kenyon seems to have failed to consider the pottery discovered by Garstang. He had unearthed numerous examples of a locally made, imitation bichrome “Cypriot” pottery from the destruction layer of the final Canaanite city of Jericho. Garstang called it “red ware” and several of the pieces he published have classic Cypriot bichrome motifs. … t-jericho/

Both Garstang and Kenyon had excavated in the poorer section of Jericho, so that could account for the lack of the presence of imported pottery.

Locally made imitation bichrome pottery came into use in the Late Bronze IB period and was no longer made in the Late Bronze IIA.20 Since both Garstang and Kenyon were digging in the poorer sections of Jericho, it’s hardly surprising that only locally made bichrome pottery was found, and that the real, fancy, Cypriot bichrome pottery was absent. … t-jericho/

Another factor was the technique that Kenyon used. She excavated as deep as she could, but this meant she could only dig at a small area.

From the beginning, her scientific methods attracted sharp criticism. Her methods were so time-consuming that she could only excavate small areas; some pointed out that Kenyon had not excavated a single complete house at Jericho. Her focus on thousands of soil layers and hundreds of thousands of small potsherds often kept her from seeing the big picture. Kenyon was also unable to produce the final publications of her excavations before her death in 1978. But her methods are still used and for many she is still the “Great Sitt”: the grand lady of archaeology in Palestine. … nd-jericho

Further, she was not known for her techniques in pottery dating.

“her pottery sequence for Samaria was considered questionable by her peers” … -1906-1978

Here is a diagram of the remains of the wall (mud brink wall shown in red).


Excavations at the outer (lower) fortification wall by the three major expeditions to Jericho. At the north end (numbers 1-5), a portion of the mud brick wall (red) atop the stone retaining wall survived, demonstrating that the city wall did not fall in this area. Nothing remains of the mud brick city wall at other points investigated, showing that it had collapsed everywhere else (numbers 6-13).
– Remnants of the collapsed city wall (red) were actually found still in place in three places at Jericho: number 11 (German excavation), number 12 (Kenyon’s excavation), and the 1997 Italian-Palestinian excavation extending Kenyon’s south trench at number 8. … of-jericho

The entire wall had fallen except for a small section on the northern end. This most likely was where Rahab lived.

Josh 2:15 (ESV)
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall.

They were commanded not to take anything for themselves from Jericho.

Josh 6:17 (ESV)
And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction.

And it was discovered in the burn layer jars full of grain. And as far as I can tell, this is the first time anyone has discovered jars full of grain in any burn layer in any excavated city.

Both John Garstang, who excavated at Jericho in the 1930’s and Kathleen Kenyon, who excavated there in the 1950’s found storage jars filled with burnt grain. In fact, Kenyon found over six bushels of grain in one season alone. … t-jericho/

The jars were full of grain because it was the harvest season and it was in preparation for a long siege.

“With a plentiful food supply and ample water, the inhabitants of Jericho could have held out for several years.” … f-jericho/

Since the siege was only seven days, the grain jars would’ve been full.