The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel is a well-documented semi-historical legend in Jewish history, and appears in sources from a number of ancient cultures. The factual history however, seems to be shrouded in much confusion.
The best known fact is perhaps that the (Neo-)Assyrian empire deported much of the population of Ancient Israel (the northern part of modern Israel, rather than the southern part of Ancient Judah) eastwards when they conquered the kingdom. This is much myth surrounding this deportation and the eventual destination of these people, with many modern ethnic groups claiming descent (often with minimal to no evidence) from the Ten Lost Tribes. Rabbinic folklore is also a source here, but I do not think most historians would accept it.
My question is, does there exist any hard historical evidence as to the fate of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel? Does modern scholarly research put a figure on how many Israelites were deported from their homeland, if indeed it was significant? The later diaspora of Jews, during Roman and later Arab occupation, is generally much better documented, and led to Jews migrating away as far as India, China, and eventually the Americas. This ancient deportation by the Neo-Assyrians, however, is what I am really wondering about.