Allow me to gather the facts for you before we get our feet wet in the water. The optimum place large enough to contain the Israelites and the pursuing Egyptian army is found on the Nuweiba coastal plain. At the water’s edge, is a column of likely Jewish origin which has a matching column on the opposite side of the Gulf of Aqaba. There is a shallow land bridge at exactly that point of the Gulf of Aqaba which divides two deeper basins found north and south of the land bridge. The gradient of slope at that point does not exceed the gradient of slope allowed for wheel chair access in a number of countries.
The Bible records for us:
Pharaoh took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander.
The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops.Exodus 14:7, 9
The Egyptian war chariots were used for quick lightning fast battles. They had room for two soldiers, one to drive the chariot and the other armed with bow and arrow and sword. The chariot was sturdy but made of light-weight materials, wood and leather, which was built for speed. These advanced lightning-fast chariot troops were backed up by infantry troops who marched behind them to mop up and to muster the slaves and spoils of war. Josephus, the Jewish historian, mentions the same number of chariots as recorded in the Bible text, but adds that there were all 50,000 horsemen and 200,000 infantry soldiers.
I mentioned in the last Nugget the sea bed over this land bridge is extremely flat, and largely covered with sand and undersea gravels. Ideal for taking chariots across – at least across this land bridge. In other parts of the Red Sea it would be impossible to cross the gulf with chariots.
So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the LORD swept them into the sea. Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.Exodus 14:27-28
Is there any evidence of remains of this event in this most likely place for a crossing to take place? A team of Scandinavians searched this area in the last decade of the 20th Century. They were led by Lennart Möller who later published a book called The Exodus Case in 2000. This book has been released in a second edition (2017) summarizing their findings. I am not at liberty to reproduce their photos of the findings. To see those, you would have to buy a copy of Lennart Möller’s book. Suffice to say Möller’s team found among other things, a gilded Egyptian chariot wheel on the seabed of the land bridge between Nuweiba and Saraf al-Bal. Möller goes to great lengths in his book to ascertain as to whether this wheel is Egyptian, matching the time period of the pharaohs of the Exodus or not.
Möller lists the uniqueness of the wheel found:
It’s the first wheel discovered anywhere other than in a burial chamber.The first gold-plated wheel that has ever been found.The construction differs from the similar wheels found in burial chambers. Yet it is identical with the Egyptian four-spoked wheels used on chariots and the uniqueness of its current location under the Red Sea.
The wheel found is indicative of being Egyptian from the time period with which it is associated. The fact that this particular wheel is gold-plated suggests it was either from a pharaoh’s chariot or associated with a pharaoh in some way. The gold coating it seems has preserved the remains of the chariot wheel which in situ is very fragile. The gilding is that which is holding it together. There is no coral attached to this wheel and the structure of the wheel matches well to the known wheel structure used by the Egyptians on chariots at the time.
There is quite a substantial collection of chariot parts left on the land bridge. Möller attempts to pick out the features of specific items from the mass of coral covered material the team discovered. There is quite a collection of chariot related parts, with chariot wheels of different types and skeletons of men and horses. However much of it is in conglomerations where it is difficult to ascertain the detail in the photos published in Möller’s book. I won’t reproduce any of that here in this Nugget. To do so I would need copyright permission. But I would strongly recommend getting hold of Lennart Möller’s book The Exodus Case published by Scandinavia Press, Copenhagen 2017. Other remains are found on the land bridge in two areas, one at the western end of the land bridge and the other at the eastern end. Those at the eastern end Möller posits as being link to the advanced troops and those at the western end being those bringing up the rear-guard action.
Möller addresses the issue of the lack of significant quantity of remains found on the land bridge given the numbers of chariots and men listed as being present at the time by both biblical sources and Josephus. It is most likely that the majority of remains have been swept off the land bridge and have been deposited in either of the two trenches or deep basins either side of the land bridge. The depth of those two basins is to a degree prohibitive to gain easy access for examining what is down there. The depth of water in the northern basin is 900 metres and in the southern basin its 1900 metres. It is most likely that there is a jumble of detritus in those two basins which has yet to be investigated. Furthermore, it is located in an area where the borders are tightly controlled, preventing easy access, making it hard to do more research in order to substantiate the contents of the Bible.
However, given the detailed data Möller and his team have discovered thus far it seems certain that what they have found is incontrovertible evidence of Egyptian chariots at the bottom of the Red Sea. There is only one event of I know which can account for such remains to be there in that particular place.
Source: The Exodus Case by Lennart Möller