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Home Forums The route of the Exodus through the Red Sea Reaction to Pharaoh’s Chariots on the Seafloor: Panel Discussion

  • Reaction to Pharaoh’s Chariots on the Seafloor: Panel Discussion

  • Ken Griffith

    April 17, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    This thread is a discussion of the video panel discussion of the diving videos for the Nuweiba crossing site.

    What to Expect in Terms of Density of Ruins

    The total number of chariots was 600 “choice chariots” and “all the chariots of Egypt” with them. So, perhaps there were at most 6,000 chariots in total. The 600 choice chariots may have been gold plated ceremonial ones.

    The Gulf of Aquaba is 10 miles across at Nuweiba. If the water level was lower at the time of the Exodus then it may have been less than five miles wide.

    Depending on the violence of the returning water, the horsemen, soldiers, and chariots may have been deposited over a wide area. We can probably assume the bodies were deposited about the same distance along the axis of Aquaba as they were left to right.

    This means there would be 100 square miles of seafloor to search, with a density of 20 to 60 chariots per square mile.

    Sediment Deposition

    It is apparent that the great desiccation of Arabia and Egypt had already begun prior to the Exodus, because the area around Mt. Sinai was referred to as desert in the Torah.

    Though there are rare rains and flash floods in Sinai, it seems likely that the vast majority of the sediment fan at Nuweiba was deposited during the Flood runoff phase long before the Exodus.

    The waters of Aquaba are also extremely oligotrophic due to the fact that virtually no rivers run into the body of water. Therefore it is unlikely that much sediment has accumulated over the 3500 years since the Exodus. In areas where strong currents move and deposit sand, it is reasonable to expect to find remains of the Egyptian army, if Nuweiba is indeed the correct site.

    The best place to look for intact weapons and chariots would be below the photic zone (100 meters depth), where corals and algae do not encrust surfaces.

    The Right Equipment to Conduct a Survey

    In the video they discussed using a submarine to search greater depths. There is a much more inexpensive way to do that.

    There are relatively affordable tethered Remotely Operated Vehicles which can be programmed to conduct a survey similar to a drone mapping project.

    The maximum depth of Aquaba at Nuweiba is 2900 feet. The ECA Hytec H800 ( would be ideally suited for such a survey, which would be run from a surface vessel with the ROV roaming on a tether below.

    Pharaoh’s Chariots on the Seafloor: Panel Discussion

  • Deborah Hurn

    April 18, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Without certainty about the Israelite route from Goshen to Sinai, attempts to locate the Red Sea crossing by seeking 3500 yr-old remains in the sea is to get it all backwards. Here are some questions that have never been satisfactorily answered:

    · Where is Mount Sinai? How do you know? What evidence makes one candidate stand out among all the other candidates?

    · Where is the Wilderness of Etham? What method determines a wilderness?

    · How does the Wilderness of Etham relate to the Wilderness of Shur, and why are these two wildernesses conflated?

    · Where is the Wilderness of the Red Sea? Ditto.

    · Where is the Wilderness of Sin? Ditto.

    · Are the stations daily stages? If not, why not? Why are there ‘gaps’ in the itinerary? There are only 13 days of travel for a full month from Rameses to Elim. Why? The Wilderness of Sin has no named stations despite being at least 7 days across. Why?

    · Why do the stations resume again with Dophkah, Alush, Rephidim?

    · Rephidim is downstream from Mount Sinai. Is this the case with any Mount Sinai candidates?

    · Where is the Wilderness of Sinai and by what method is it determined?

    · The people camp at Mount Sinai immediately upon entering the Wilderness of Sinai. Thus it must be close to the border of the wilderness. How is that borne out with any mountain candidate?

    · Mount Sinai is also known as Mount Paran? Why? Where is Paran according to other biblical refs, and early historians?

    · Where is Kadesh relative to Mount Sinai? (and so on to the ongoing itinerary details from Sinai to Kadesh?

    If any proposed itinerary cannot answer these questions with a consistent methodology, well, I am sorry to say that it is a waste of time and money to go looking for the remains of Pharaoh’s army.

    It makes for great visuals. Wow, scuba divers, coral, and submarine photography. You can’t get anything much more romantic than golden (?!) chariots bristling with weapons and handsome Egyptian charioteers, King Tut style. I love Cecil B de Mille’s wonderful rendition in The Ten Commandments, and if it weren’t for the terrible mess they made of the storyline in Exodus: Gods and Kings, I would love that version too. But just as for the other biblical stories (two-bit battles over a tiny land), the reality was probably a very scaled-down affair. Just like a walk on the beach at sunset, the biblical heroes and their people cast a very long shadow from very small events. This is not to diminish their importance in history. The Bible has made them very famous. But the stage and the players are tiny in the world context.

    • Ken Griffith

      April 18, 2021 at 9:29 am

      Deborah, while I favor the Gulf of Aquaba as the crossing site, because I think Jebel el Lawz is the probable Mt. Sinai, I think Sharm El Sheikh is an equal if not better candidate to Nuweiba.

      However, I also think the sea level was lower when the Exodus happened, and the likelihood of chariot remains being in shallow water is quite low.

      I started this thread to talk about how to do an underwater survey, not so much to argue for a particular site. Tim Mahoney favors the Nuweiba site, so I used that in the examples.

  • Thomas Donlon

    June 15, 2021 at 1:54 am

    Donna Cox and Klaus Bartels, it is in this thread that Ken Griffith made an alternate and less expensive proposal than a submarine for searching the waters of the Gulf of Aqaba. (There are just three comments here (thus far) and Ken’s proposal is at the top of the page so it easy to find.) Note: The company Ken linked to works in the Australia / New Zealand area. There may be other vendors that work closer to Aqaba or maybe some explorer interested people would have an interest in purchasing one. I have no idea on the cost…

  • Donna Cox

    June 16, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Ken: I did a little research on the ROV and I think this would be the best way for research on the sea floor, more cost effective would be to rent one if anyone new how to operate it. But you have a great idea.

    • Ken Griffith

      June 18, 2021 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks, Donna. After further research I’ve revised my estimate of the number of chariots down from 6,000 to less than 1,000. That means there are probably only about 10 chariots per square mile, though some areas might have a lot more.

      Yes, you can probably rent an ROV with a ship. And you can also probably rent an ROV operator with it.

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