Radio-carbon dates the Fall of Jericho to circa 1550/1530 BC

by Walter R. Mattfeld
(Orange Park, Florida)

Dame Kathleen Kenyon understood Jericho's last defensive wall was circa 1550 BC and fell to Egyptians who had chased the Hyksos back into Canaan from Egypt. Bryant G. Wood has challenged this date, prefering 1446 BC which aligns with the Biblical account, based on his reinterpretation of the pottery found or not found by Kenyon. However, the latest radio-carbon dates of the burnt grain found in storage jasr at Jericho seems to support Kenyon's date. Wood refuses to accept the carbon-date. Egyptologists Hoffmeier and Kenyon have noted that 480 years elapsing from Exodus to Solomon's building of the temple is challenged by the dates of reigns of the Judges, suggesting not 480 years but instead 600 years, aligning the event with the Hyksos Expulsion in the 18th dynasty by Pharaoh Ahmose I. Yet Hoffmeier and Kitchen prefer an Exodus circa 1260 BC because that is the period that Rameses exists in Egypt. My understanding? The Exodus has conflated two events, the HYksos expulsion of circa 1560 Bc and the Iron Age settlement of the 13th century BC.

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