As a result, scholars have no conclusive answers to such questions as these: When did Abraham live or did he even exist?
Of these sites, a select few can be pinpointed relatively well by description and deduction.
As the tribe expanded, they may have begun to clash with neighbors, perhaps sparking the tales of conflict in Joshua and Judges. also summarizes the scholarly consensus in his book Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (published by Oxford University Press and winner of the 2011 Biblical Archaeology Society's "Best Popular Book on Archaeology"); Despite attempts by a number of biblical archaeologists — and an even larger number of amateur enthusiasts — over the years, credible direct archaeological evidence for the Exodus has yet to be found.
William Dever, an archaeologist normally associated with the more conservative end of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, has labeled the question of the historicity of Exodus “dead.” Israeli archaeologist Ze'ev Herzog provides the current consensus view on the historicity of the Exodus; The Israelites never were in Egypt. While it can be argued that such evidence would be difficult to find, since nomads generally do not leave behind permanent installations, archaeologists have discovered and excavated nomadic emplacements from other periods in the Sinai desert.
This article examines the Young Earth creationist and Biblical literalist claims regarding the historical reality of the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt, as well as the evidence relating to such claims.
Mainstream history and archaeology now consider the Exodus never to have happened, and the story to be an entirely fictional narrative put together between the 8th and 5th centuries BCE.