Saturday, July 21, 2007

10 Lost Tribes Went Nowhere

Where the archaeology is clear, Cline finds convincing evidence that the biblical conquests around the 12th century B.C. weren't the work of Joshua and his horn but an invading army that overthrew the Hittites and severely checked the ancient Egyptians, leaving the Israelites behind to take over ancient Israel. Similarly, the best evidence suggests the Ark of the Covenant was not buried under Temple Mount, but captured and melted down by Nebuchadnezzar's invading army in 586 B.C.

Near Eastern archaeologists working in the conflict-ridden Middle East (Cline is an associate director for the excavation outside Jerusalem of Megiddo, source of the word "Armageddon") know well the evidence of ancient warfare they uncover resonates in today's world. In the last, and best-researched, chapter of the book, Cline tackles the fate of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, a question some have answered with theories of migrations ranging from India to Africa to America. Fortunately, records remain from the Neo-Assyrian invaders, the folks responsible for dispersing the tribes, and Babylonian contemporaries.

The best evidence suggests the invaders deported thousands of Israelites, but the vast majority simply remained there, either living among the invaders or fleeing to the south, both phenomena detailed in ancient buildings.

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