Archaeologists May Have Found the Old Testament City of Ai
Dr. Scott Stripling and a team of archaeologists say they may have found the location of the Biblical city of Ai from the Old Testament.
The team, the Associates for Biblical Research, has been excavating the site near Jerusalem for years, according to SputnikNews.com.
“There were 14 years of difficult digging with an 8-year hiatus due to the Intifada,” Stripling said, referring to the Palestinian uprising against Israel. “We suffered from constant vandalism. But we persevered and did an excellent job of excavating.”
The city of Ai was a Canaanite city described in the Book of Joshua where the city was ambushed by Joshua and the Israelites.
Previously, archaeologists and historians have thought that the ruins of the city were near el-Tell in the West Bank. However, Stripling’s team is claiming that the city was located at Khirbet el-Maqatir.
Stripling said the biblical description of the Israelites hiding in a dip could be present-day Wadi Sheban, which is just west of the ancient city of Ai.
“This gives us a regional perspective, an overview of what was happening in the highlands of Israel in antiquity,” he said. “We can see transitions in the culture.”
Stripling says he is a Christian and his work has bolstered his faith.
“My work in archaeology in Israel has affected me profoundly as a believer,” he said.
“I already believed in the Bible, but as the years go by I have seen hundreds of examples of synchronisation between the material culture we are excavating and what I read in the text. This is a constant reminder that there is a God and that he left a record of his work in history.”
Stripling is expected to publish his findings and what he calls “compelling evidence” later this year.