Sellin and Watzinger, Jericho

A new look at an old excavation. This photo was taken at the first major excavation at ancient Jericho, conducted by Sellin and Watzinger. On a diagonal at lower right is a portion of the stone revetment wall, rising to a height of some 15 feet; its scale is evident from the man at far right. The revetment wall surrounded the city at the base of the sloping earthen rampart and provided a first line of defense for the city at the top of the slope (see plan). Atop this revetment wall a mudbrick parapet wall is clearly visible. Behind the parapet, across the center of the photo, are the remains of houses inside the revetment wall on the top of the rampart. These same buildings can be seen on the plan. These houses seem to have been on the “wrong side of the tracks” in ancient Jericho; their walls were rather flimsy—only one brick thick. Author Wood suggests that Rahab, the prostitute who assisted Joshua’s spies, might have lived in one of these houses on the sloping rampart between the revetment wall encircling the bottom of the hill and the city wall that surrounded the top of the tell.