In the 1930s, British archaeologist John Garstang excavated a residential area, marked "A," just west of the perennial spring that supplied the city’s water and which now fills the modern reservoir. Kathleen Kenyon, Garstang’s successor at Jericho, excavated the area marked "B," Her conclusions dated Jericho’s destruction to about 1550 B. By the time the Israelites appeared on the scene, she argued, there was no walled city at Jericho.(A significant portion of the tell was destroyed to make way for the modern road.) Signs of a fiery destruction and his dating of the remains led Garstang to conclude that the Israelites had indeed put the city to the torch about 1400 B. Garstang was the first investigator to use modern methods at the site, although his work was still crude by today’s standards.
Garstang excavated a collapsed double city wall on the summit of the tell that he dated to the late-15th to early 14th-century B. Garstang concluded that City IV came to an end about 1400 B. E., based on pottery found in the destruction debris, on scarabs recovered from nearby tombs and on the absence of Mycenaean ware.
He ascribed the destruction to invading Israelites.
Jericho is doubly unique: With its Neolithic settlement dating to 8000 B. E., Jericho lays claim to being the world’s oldest city; located 670 feet below sea level in the great rift valley, it is the world’s lowest city as well.
Jericho’s abundant water supply, favorable climate and geographic location made it a key site in ancient Canaan.
After his redating, Watzinger concluded that Jericho was unoccupied (and therefore obviously unfortified) during the Late Bronze period (c. City IV at Jericho – the city that all scholars agree was violently destroyed – was a fortified enclave, drawn at left.