The nature of historical and archaeological research is such that biblical and archaeological evidence should both be taken into account so that we can attain a more reliable reconstruction of ancient Israel. Nowadays we are faced with numerous reconstructions which are very often diametrically opposed to each other owing to the different assumptions of scholars. An examination of certain issues of epistemology in the current climate of postmodernism, shows that the latter is self-defeating when it claims that we cannot attain any true knowledge about the past.
Illustrations are taken from the history of pre-exilic Israel; however, the indissoluble unity of text and artefact is made clearer and more concrete through a detailed case study about the location of the house of Rahab as depicted in Joshua 2: 15, irrespective of whether this text is historical or not. Text and artefact should work hand in hand even when narratives turn out to be fictional, since thus there emerges a clearer picture of the external world which the author would have had in mind.