Reexamining The Late Bronze Era -- By: Anonymous
BSP 8:2 (Spring 1995) p. 47
Reexamining The Late Bronze Era
An interview with Bryant Wood by Gordon Govier
Bryant Wood began concentrating on the Late Bronze era during studies at the University of Toronto. His doctoral thesis was on the local Canaanite pottery of the period.
He became a controversial figure in the field when he publicly criticized Kathleen Kenyon’s conclusions about Jericho. Wood maintains Jericho was occupied when the Israelite conquest began, and says the excavations on the site have verified the Biblical account.
He has no criticism of Kenyon’s field work and methodology. In fact, her meticulous work helped his reexamination of Jericho. But he believes her conclusion that Jericho was unoccupied during the period of the Conquest, was weak and unsupported by her excavation.
In this interview, conducted for the weekly “Book and the Spade” radio program, (WNWC, Madison WI), Wood discusses how his research continues to support the Biblical account for the beginnings of the nation of Israel.
There are two basic versions of what happened then, that are out now.
The primary theory among scholars today is that Israel came into being in the 12th century BC. They emerged, as they say, from the Canaanite peoples living in the land. This, of course, is very much in opposition to what the Biblical account tells us.
Scholars say Israel wasn’t even a nation until about 1150 BC. They say Israel had no prior history, there was no Conquest, or an Exodus. They have jettisoned the Biblical record and relegated that to the realm of mythology and legend. There’s a sharp conflict between modern archeological theories and what the Bible has to say.
According to the Bible, the Israslites came into the Promised Land under Joshua and overthrew the Canaanite peoples through military means. We can assign dates to these events because in the Old Testament we have a chronology given to us. We can work back and determine that the Exodus from Egypt took place around 1450. That would place the Conquest of Joshua around 1410.
My own perspective is that the Biblical materials are valid history. They should be treated as ancient sources, as any other ancient document, unless
BSP 8:2 (Spring 1995) p. 48
you have very strong evidence to the contrary. In my investigations I have found the Biblical accounts stand up very well to the evidence.
I guess the Bible is one of three important documents that are being used to look at this important time. The other two are the Merneptah stela and the Amarna letters, which both surfaced about 100 years or so ago. You’ve found evid...
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