Ai (Hebrew עי, Arabic التل ) is the name of until the middle of the 3rd millennium BC located near Bethel city state. The excavations of the mound (tell) have a settlement until about 2400 BC detected. The later, around 1200 BC reconstructed village place had character and was abandoned after about 150 years by the residents. A destruction horizon can not be seen from this era. Joseph Callaway believed that the built in about 1200 BC as Ai in the highland villages were related of the Sea Peoples. The new residents were originally part of the coastal country of Palestine. They established a short time after the arrival of the Sea Peoples as part of their move in the mountain regions smaller towns.
According to Old Testament tradition, Joshua 7-8 Ai said to have been destroyed by Joshua in the conquest of Canaan. The name עי is the Hebrew word for heap of rubble, according to the Arabic Tell - so the present name ال تل - so that the eponymous population must have found in this place ruins. Therefore, the historical-critical exegesis assumes that it is in the biblical narrative is an etiological legend to explain how the pile of debris had arisen.