Independently of any archaeological considerations, John W. Wenham noted some years ago the apparent discrepancy between Joshua 7:3 and 8:25. The latter verse gives the population of Ai as 12,000. Wenham plausibly suggested that an original figure of 1,200 had been changed to the larger total by textual corruption, citing other places where numbers have been distorted by a factor of ten (e.g., compare 2 Samuel 10:18 with 1 Chronicles 19:18). See Wenham, “Large Numbers in the Old Testament,” Tyndale Bulletin 18 (1967), pp. 21 and 41. For the possibility that the “thirty thousand” in Joshua 8:3 should be translated as “thirty picked troops,” see the same article by Wenham, p. 26.