Et-Tell is a 27.5 a. [11 ha.] mound located about 10 mi. [6.2 km.] north-northeast of Jerusalem – just west of the village of Deir Dibwan. The site was excavated at various times by J. Garstang, J. Marquet-Krause, and J. A. Callaway. The most prominent remains – very extensive – are from the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3150-2400 B.C.). There was a small unwalled village here, ca. 6 a. [2.4 ha.] during the Iron I Age (1220-1050 B.C.).
This site, primarily because of its location in relation to Beitin (= biblical Bethel), is often identified with biblical Ai – a ruin or city that is mentioned in the Patriarchal (Gen 12:8; 13:3) and Joshua (7–12) narratives. The problem with this identification is that no one was living here at the time of the conquest of Joshua (ca. 1400 B.C. [early date] or 1250 B.C. [late date]). Alternative sites for "Ai" have been suggested.