Taken from Digging Up the Past
But Dr Rudolph Cohen, recently retired Deputy Director of the Israel Antiquities Service has excavated for twenty five years in the Negev (southern Israel) including Kadesh Barnea where the Israelites stayed for 40 days while the twelve spies searched the promised land. He claims there is so much evidence for the presence of a large number of people there at the beginning of the MBI period that he is of the firm conviction that these were the migrating Israelites.
In the July 1983 edition of Biblical Archaeology Review he wrote an article entitled "The Mysterious MBI People, in which he stated,
"In fact, these MBI people may be the Israelites whose famous journey from Egypt to Canaan is called the Exodus." BAR p. 16.He even claims that, from the pottery they left behind, he could trace the route the Israelites took. He wrote,
"It is interesting, however, to note that this migratory drift, as I have reconstructed it, bears a striking similarity to that of the Israelite's flight from Egypt to the Promised Land, as recorded in the book of Exodus." ibid. p. 28.In 1993, my Australian group and I worked with Dr Cohen in his excavations at Ein Hatzeva, south of the Dead Sea. During the course of the excavations site supervisor Egal Israel came by to see what we were finding. I asked him whether he agreed with Dr Cohen's views identifying the MBI people with the Israelite migration. Without hesitation he replied, "Of course I do, and so do all the archaeologists down here." I said, "The archaeologists in the north do not accept it." He replied, "They do not know what they are talking about."
Later that year I was talking with Dr Ami Mazar and asked him what he thought of Dr Cohen's views. "They are a lot of rubbish," he snapped. So there is this conflict of opinions in Israel. The majority hold to the traditional chronology but it would not be the first time in history that a minority were right. At least readers should be aware that there are alternative views.