Subject: לוֹחֶם lochem warrior tribesman
Setting: settlement of Canaan, ca.15th-13thcBC
* Keller 1980 p168-169
"[T]he Biblical account of the occupation of the country [can be seen] as the condensed description of an extremely complicated and lengthy process which lasted for several centuries, but which the bible presents to us in compressed form concentrating it all on the person of Joshua. In doing so, the Bible selects specific events and combines them to form a story in which the episodes do not always agree. Some specialists even claim that an occupation, such as it is described in the Bible, never occurred and surprisingly this can be substantiated in the Bible. After his first victories in the land of the Canaanites, Joshua assembled 'all Israel' by Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal which rise above the old town of Shechem now known as Nablus. In connection with this event, the Bible expressly uses the words 'all Israel ... as well as the stranger, as he that was born among them' (Joshua 8:33). How could that be the case? Had not 'all Israel' only just arrived in the Promised Land? What did this mention of those 'born among them' signify? Many scholars are of the opinion that the subsequent influx of Israelites occurred in several waves. That might be the explanation -- when the newcomers arrived, the others were already there."
* Lipovsky 2012 p157-158
"The history of the conquest of Canaan by Hebrew tribes is mainly given in the Book of Joshua, where it is depicted as a simultaneous military campaign. Unfortunately, at the present time archaeology is unable to confirm or refute the version set out in the Bible. The problem is that many of the Canaanite cities mentioned have yet to be identified or excavated. Archaeologists continue to argue about the precise location of cities such as Horma, Libnah, Makkedah, Lasharon, Madon, Shimron-Meron, and Goiim. However, even those cities that have been identified -- such as Geder, Adullam, Tapuah, Hepher, and Ahshav -- have for various reasons not been excavated in the proper way. It is, of course, impossible to conduct archaeological excavations in cities such as Jerusalem or Gaza in the event that modern buildings have been erected directly on the site of ancient ruins. Other cities have been identified and excavated only for it to turn out that they have been destroyed at different times and by different conquerors. The coastal cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Aphek, and Dor, for instance, were destroyed by the Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, while Hazor and Bethel fell to Israelite tribes in the 13th century BC. Still other cities were burned and abandoned by their inhabitants long before Joshua's conquest. The best examples of this category of cities are Ai and Arad, which flourished during the early Bronze Age but were destroyed at the end of the 3rd millennium BC, their lands remaining uninhabited right up to the arrival of the Israelite tribes. On the other hand, cities such as Yokneam, Kedesh, Taanach, and Lachish were indeed destroyed by the Israelites -- and, moreover, precisely during Joshua's military campaign, in the 12th century BC. There is other evidence too that confirms the information found in the Bible. For instance, Shechem, a city in central Palestine that is of great importance for Israelite history, is never mentioned among those seized or destroyed, and there is a good reason for this: archeological data tell us that it already belonged to the Israelite tribes or was their ally. The same goes for cities such as Jerusalem, Debir, Yarmuth, Gezer, Beth-shean, and Akko, which are mentioned as unconquered cities. As archeologists have established, these cities contain no traces of Israelite culture. In short, the archaeological facts partly confirm the biblical version and partly contradict it.
"At the present time, archaeology furnishes us with only two unconditional conclusions. First, the Hebrew tribes' conquest of Canaan was not a simultaneous military campaign, but one that stretched over several centuries. Second, the Hebrews were not aliens in Canaan, but had been closely connected with, and were an integral part of it. Their material and spiritual culture speaks of a continuity between them and the Canaanites -- and all the more so because biblical Hebrew was merely a dialect of the Canaanites' language. These facts have allowed the American archaeologist William Dever to assert that the early Israelites were actually Canaanites who were displaced within their own country."