The tale of the Israelites’ conquest of the Promised Land has long been an article of faith wherever the Bible is widely read and respected. But recent discoveries suggest that the military defeat of the Promised Land, as detailed in the Book of Joshua, simply never occurred.
This archeological verdict will no doubt come as a surprise to many: no sudden invasion, no bloody defeat of ancient Canaan; instead, a simple ‘peasants’ revolt’ of farmers within the country. Spun throughout the decades, this triumphant chronicle was gradually embroidered beyond recognition with heroic and largely imaginary military details.
For today’s State of Israel, where questions of history and archaeology often have enormous modern significance, this new archaeological evidence is certain to arouse religious — and even political — controversy for years to come.
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