From the Cities of the Biblical World series - a series presenting the results of recent archaeological developments at major Biblical sites for the general reader, the student and the tourist. Say the name Jericho and the one thing everybody knows about the city is that once upon a time the walls fell down flat. The more knowledgeable will go on to tell you that it had something to do with Joshua, with the children of Israel, possibly even with spies; and that you can read all about it in Exodus. In Jericho John Barlett says that the biblical story cries out for archaeological support. Fifty years ago the archaeologists believed they had found it. Now they are not so sure. Some of them even say that there is no archaeological evidence at all to support the idea of a collapse in the days of Joshua, and this therefore provides a classic example of relating what the Bible says and what archaeologists find (or fail to find) in the reconstruction of history.
There is, however, more to the history of Jericho than this one incident and John Barlett guides us through the story of its excavation, describing the many finds, including a large amount of pottery and the famous plastered skulls.