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For many decades biblical archaeologists tried to prove the story of the conquest as told in the book of Joshua. They located the defeated cities mentioned in the Bible and tried to find "destruction layers" from the period when the conquest would have occurred, now generally believed to be the late thirteenth century BCE.
While more than twenty sites mentioned in the Bible have been excavated, to date only two – Hazor and Bethel – revealed evidence of destruction. However, the ethnic origins of their conquerors cannot be determined. Findings at the other sites contradict the account of Joshua. Notably, excavations at the site of Jericho revealed that it had been destroyed centuries earlier.

Based on this evidence, archaeologists have generally concluded that the Israelites did not take Canaan by force.

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