There was a time not too long ago that contemporary historians doubted the authorship by Moses of the first five books of the Bible.  The reasoning was along the lines that since Moses lived around 1,400 BC and writing wasn't invented until some time later therefore Moses could not have written the books that bear his name.  They must consequently have been written by a less prestigious individual who used Moses' name to give the books greater importance than they would otherwise have enjoyed.  The net result was a simple excuse by which to discredit the rest of the Bible as well; after all, if it was not to be trusted right at the start why should it be trusted further in.  Further research, however, discovered that Hammurabi, a king of Babylon who  established it as an important centre around 1750 BC, had also published a sophisticated code of law which was in fact quite similar to that found in the Bible.  Suddenly the argument changed from "Moses could not have written the books that bear his name since writing had not yet been invented," to "The similarity between the two codes indicates that Moses must have copied his law from the law of Hammurabi."  In either case it was the validity of the Bible that was discounted yet as far as ancient texts are concerned the Bible has far more reliability than any other body of ancient writing.  (By reliable I mean that there exists more evidence that the Bible we read today is essentially as it was originally written than exists for any other body of ancient writing.)  Clearly it is not unbiased interpretation of the facts that is yielding these conclusions but a desire to discredit the Bible as a document worthy of our trust.  If this could be done much of the intellectual support for Christianity would fall.  One of the great problems of archaeology, indeed any inquiry into unfamiliar areas, is that we depend much more on our presuppositions.  If we approach ancient literature with the idea that man began as a primitive and developed a greater sophistication as time moved on then we will be forced to doubt the validity of sophisticated thought that is thought to have existed before our presuppositions tell us existed.  At some point we must allow the ancient writers of the Bible to speak for themselves, without forcing them to bend to our predetermined understanding of history.