Genesis was probably written after the Exile. It certainly wasn’t written in the Bronze Age. We know that the chronology of Abraham is quite compromised. He cavorts with the Philistines, supposedly in the Bronze Age, but the Philistines don’t even arrive until sometime before 1200 BCE (the time of the Sea People). It’s very hard to have a conversation with a people who haven’t even arrived yet. This “chronological corruption” is a loss of 800 years!
The global flood couldn’t have happened when Genesis says it happened because this would have been after the 3 major pyramids of Giza were already complete. And the one thing Archaeologists would have noticed… not to mention Egyptians… is having their temples, schools and total economy wrecked in a global flood. It either didn’t happen at all, or it was a completely different flood.
And then there is the archaeological results for Beersheba and for Edom’s Bozrah. The texts below are easy to find in Google; but they come with citations for the actual assertions. Beersheba’s well couldn’t have been a bone of contention between Abraham and the Philistines, because Beersheba didn’t exist in the Bronze Age.
Beersheba, identified by most scholars with Tell es-Seba, was founded in Iron I (the 12th century BCE)… Archaeology has revealed that the place was unoccupied in Abraham’s days (the 21st century BCE)… Of interest was the presence of distinctive Philistine pottery shards amongst the proto-Israelite pottery assemblages in the earliest Iron Age I levels of the tell.
It is probably this presence of Philistine wares at Beersheba -when it was founded- that is being remembered in the Abrahamic narratives recounting his struggle with Philistines over the well he had created (Ge 21:22-32). [“Beersheba’s well was believed to have been dug at some time after the city’s founding in the 12th century BCE.”]
@gbrooks9’s Summary on Philistines
In fact, if the Pelest/Philistines don’t arrive in Canaan until 1175 or so, during the time of the Sea People, and do not consolidate well enough to deny Egypt access to their traditional territories up along the coast of Canaan, Phoenicia and to their frontier in northern Syria, then Abraham’s interactions with the Philistines could not have happened until well after 1130 BCE. You cannot have banter with people that don’t even exist yet.
Genesis mentions Bozrah in Edom (Ge 36:33) which has been identified with the modern village of Buseirah… Bennett, who excavated Bozrah, writes (pp. 16-17. Crystal M. Bennett. “Excavations at Buseirah (Biblical Bozrah)”):
“There is no archaeological evidence to support the story of the king of Edom refusing passage to Moses, or for a powerful kingdom of Edom in the time of David and his son Solomon. Biblical traditions such as Genesis 36:31 ff. and Numbers 20:14 ff. probably reflect 8th-6th century BC conditions. The evidence for a very impressive occupation and a city with all the appurtences of prosperity is overwhelming during the Neo-Assyrian period and is supported by the records in the Assyrian annals, and 8th century BC biblical references to Bozrah (especially Amos 1:12).” John F. A. Sawyer & David J. A. Clines, editors: “Midian, Moab and Edom; The History and Archaeology of the Late Bronze and Iron Age Jordan and North-west Arabia”. 1983. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement 24. Sheffield, England)
If Bozrah is no earlier than the 8th century and principally the 7-6th centuries BC, then this archaeological anomaly reveals that the Genesis text could not have been composed before this period of time. Genesis suggests that Bozrah is a city inhabited by one of Esau’s descendants, who are described as Kings of Edom before any King reigned in Israel (Ge 36:31). Saul, Israel’s first King is dated by some scholars as ruling ca. 1020-1000 BCE (cf. p.1548. Bruce Metzger and Herbert G. May, editors. The New Oxford Annotated Bible With Apocrypha. 1977). Archaeology has revealed that no Edomite King reigned at Bozrah before Israel had a King, because the city didn’t come into existence until the 7th-6th centuries BCE.
This archaeological anomaly suggests that Genesis could not have been composed in the 7th century BCE because within “living memory” there would be a realization that the city was a recent creation. A couple of hundred years would need to pass for the national memory to fade and forget when Bozrah came into existence, such that this tale of it being a city before there were Kings in Israel would not have been objected to by the audience. A 7th-6th century Bozrah (the principal building remains are 7th-6th centuries, not 8th) suggests Genesis was composed either in the 6th or 5th century BCE.
A nice side-note on Edom’s territory - Bronze Age or Late Iron Age
MacDonald was of the conclusion that the Exodus narratives reflected a Late Iron II sitz im leben, and suspected that they were composed between the 7th-6th centuries B.C.
MacDonald, speaking of Kadesh-Barnea being portrayed as a town in Edom’s border (Nu 20:16), it being identified with either Ain el Qudeirat or Ain Qadeis in the Negev:
“The text probably reflects the situation at the end of the seventh or beginning of the sixth century when Edom moved, at a time when Judah was weak, into the eastern Negeb. This would have led to hostility, or perhaps increased hostility, between Judah and Edom at the end of the monarchial period (Briend 1987:42).Thus the text describes a particular geographical and cultural situation, rather than an historical condition at the end of the Late Bronze or beginning of the Iron Age.”
(p. 68, “Exodus Itineraries.” Burton MacDonald. East of the Jordan, Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. Boston, Massachusetts. American Schools of Oriental Research. 2000. ISBN 0-89757-031-6)
In speaking of Mt. Hor’s location, MacDonald again stresses that the text is probably of the 7th or 6th century B.C.:
“The difficulty in accepting a mountain in the neighborhood of Petra as the location of Mount Hor is that Petra is not on the ‘edge/border’ of Edom but in Edom. Petra and vicinity would have been at the western edge of Edomite territory only in the city’s formative years. The text, however, appears to be late and dated to a time, possibly the seventh or sixth century, when the Edomites had expanded westward into the central Negeb.”
(p.70, “Exodus Itineraries.” Burton MacDonald. East of the Jordan, Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. Boston, Massachusetts. American Schools of Oriental Research. 2000. ISBN 0-89757-031-6)
In his conclusions on the Exodus Itineraries, MacDonald notes that most of the sites that can be identified, appear in Late Iron II, suggesting the narratives are very late:
“On the basis of textual and literary study of these texts plus archaeological evidence from biblical sites identified with confidence, we may conclude that the passages in question probably date to the end of the Iron II period. Only then were most of the identified sites occupied; there is little or no evidence of their occupation during either the Iron I or early Iron II Age.”
(p. 98, “Exodus Itineraries.” Burton MacDonald. East of the Jordan, Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. Boston, Massachusetts. American Schools of Oriental Research. 2000. ISBN 0-89757-031-6)