Are you ready to go on a field study with our "Joshua" class? Here we are, first thing in the morning, standing at a site just east of Jericho, which is the city you see in the background. Nate, on the right, is yawning with anticipation. Where we are standing is a proposed site for where "Gilgal" may have been - the place where the Israelites camped first after crossing the Jordan with Joshua. The hills rising just beyond Jericho are where the spies that Joshua sent to Jericho would have hid for 3 days after Rahab helped them escape.
You have to look closely at this picture (enlarge it)..That's professor Stone pointing out what we can see in the trench. Look to the middle of the picture, then slightly to the right and you will see layers of stone and beneath that some mudbricks. This dirt hides all kinds of prior dwellings and structures.
Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses".
Shechem sits in a pass between 2 mountains: Mount Gerazim, and also Mount Ebal which you see here above the dwellings. In Joshua chapter 8, Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal...half the people stood on Ebal and half on Gerazim, and he led a renewal of their covenant with the Lord from that place. Later this semester I will be returning to Mount Ebal to see what they believe is the actual altar that Joshua built there, discovered just a few year ago.