Okay. So we booted out of Egypt, wandered in the desert, got the Torah, wandered 40 years more. Then we followed Joshua into Canaan and wiped the locals off the map – right? Wrong*:
I agree completely with William G. Dever, emeritus professor of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona, who recently wrote: "But what about the conquest and settlement of Canaan as depicted in the books of Joshua and Judges? As we have seen, there is little that we can salvage from Joshua's stories of the rapid, wholesale destruction of Canaanite cities and the annihilation of the local population. It simply did not happen; the archaeological evidence is indisputable. It is conceivable that there was a military chieftain and folk hero named Joshua, who won a few skirmishes here and there. But there was simply no Israelite conquest of most of Canaan."
Dever is not alone in this assessment; he is simply giving voice to what the vast majority of archaeologists now believe. And a majority of biblical scholars and ancient historians concur. Esteemed scholar Nadav Na'aman, professor of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, wrote: "It is commonly accepted today that the majority of the conquest stories in the Book of Joshua are devoid of historical reality."
So there is no evidence that Joshua ever "fit the battle of Jericho" or that "the walls came a tumblin' down" from a blast from his men's trumpets, to quote the traditional African-American gospel song. In short, it would seem that the only mystery still remaining about the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho is how it came to be written in the first place.
Eric Cline, From Eden to Exile, p. 120
Deever is the preëminent archaeologist of this generation. Cline is a noted scholar in his own right and not extreme in his views. The vast majority of archaeologists and ancient historians agree with these men.
*[Unless we choose to ignore science.]