Jesus was crucified on the Passover which celebrates the Jews’ freedom from Egyptian bondage. So the week after Easter is appropriate to look at archaeological discoveries for the Exodus, meaning the chariot wheels. As for the different dynasties of Egyptian rule, there are now well-researched explanations that put it all together better. I’ll cover this in Part 2.
First, a little context regarding the challenges scholars and archaeologists face. In my documentary segment on the limitations of archaeology, pride often interferes with objectivity and open-minded learning from each other. There’s also a limitation in discovering where nomads lived since ancient Israelites’ homes were tents, meaning bio-degradable. Until they settled in the Land, the Jews had no building foundations to discover. Even a rough estimate of where the Israelites traveled was impossible to verify from archaeology. But this video clip is most interesting, from which I captured the above pictures. Also, the Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) does a great job of analyzing a lot more available data from Egyptian history, archaeology, geography, etc.
Maps of Israel crossing the Red Sea consistently showed the crossing to be over the Gulf of Suez, at least until recently. But these chariot wheels were discovered in the Gulf of Aqaba as if the Israelites crossed at Nueweiba. This would mean the Israelites crossed the whole Sinai Peninsula before the Egyptian army came after them. BAS says it took the Israelites 7 days to get from Egypt to the Red Sea. They argue Nueweiba was too far for walking that far and fast. On this matter, I believe BAS is wrong.
The Israelites left Egypt on the 15th of “the first month.” After they crossed the Red Sea they wandered for 3 days until they reached Marah, then probably went to Elim soon after. At any rate, it was the 15th day “of the second month” that they then came to the Desert of Sin. So it sounds to me like it could’ve been almost a month minus perhaps a little longer than 3 days, traveling from Egypt to the Red Sea.
From My Christian Sites Website, which says these chariot wheels mean Israel did cross at Nueweiba:
wind can drive away water. But the deeper the water the stronger the required wind…. Not even a hurricane can make the deep parts dry…if it could then Israelites and Egyptians alike would be blown away…. The rest of the gulf is very deep…. South at the Straight of Tiran 1300m/4265ft. About halfway 1100m/3609ft, 1300m/4265ft and 1800m/5906ft deep. The northern third of the gulf is 900m/2953ft deep. Even the ‘shallow’ parts are far too deep for wind drying them up. Another problem…the bottom of the gulf is very uneven. There are underwater (steep) hills of up to 300m/984ft high… impossible on foot and even more so for…Pharaoh’s chariots…the most…gentle slope…the only part that looks passable. It’s located at modern Nuweiba Beach…. Accessible (by chariots) on both sides…quite rare with the many steep mountains reaching into the gulf at many places on both sides.
However, BAS says of “the topography of the underwater land bridge,”
From Nuweiba, the land bridge slopes down to 850 meters (2,790 feet) but then comes up sharply on the east side as it gets to the shore of Saudi Arabia. This sharp incline would make the ascent extremely difficult, if not impossible for the Israelites to cross in one night.
BAS also says that “the coral-encrusted chariot wheels are interesting, but not convincing. The so-called ‘golden wheel’ is a fabrication.” Their article goes on to criticize those who believe the Israelites did cross at Nuweiba, saying
…in the Cairo Museum they would have noticed the chariots of Pharaoh Tutankhamen. With the exception of Pharaoh’s gold plated chariot, all the other chariots were made of wood and rawhide (leather) with a few copper components. The first two items that would have disintegrated quickly underwater…. Thus there would be nothing left of the chariots to discover with the exception of a few pieces of copper.