I brought this up with Dr. David Down while he was the expert, here, but still haven't gotten it out of my mind. 

So, the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, and the Egyptian host was drowned therein.  Presumably a good many artefacts were buried then.  Since then, silt has been piling up on top of these artefacts.  I don't know about the corrosive action of the Sea and what affect it could have on this sort of stuff. 

What I am trying to ascertain is, could archeologists use modern technology to discover any of the weapons, equipment, etc. that were lost?  Such a discovery could fill in many details about the Exodus.  Does anybody have any thoughts/information about this?

Tags: Archeology, Egypt, Exodus, Moses, Red, Sea

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I don't think you will find any non-christian archeologists looking for that. It would again prove the accuracy of the Holy Bible. I would really like to see the results of checking it out though.

Generally speaking, the conditions for underwater preservation aren't extraordinarily rare - ancient shipwrecks have been found in the red sea before, I believe, and there are over 1,000 shipwrecks known of in the Mediterranean alone - nor is the great age such artefacts would be especially prohibitive - the oldest ships ever found are Phonecian, whose first extra-biblical reference dates to around the same age as the first extra-biblical reference toIsrael. Indeed, there are only 3 really prohibitive factors in underwater archaeology.

 

The first is the amount of material - underwater preservation isn't especially rare, as I mentioned. What is rare is the frequency with which we drop things in the water. The sea is a large place and we occupy only a small amount of it for a small amount of time. However, if an entire army is being buried here, one would expect there to be a plethora of artefacts.

 

The second is the unknown - guaranteeing something is down there is only half the battle. Questions such as "Is this representative of what was lost?" or "Is this the same place it was lost in?" must also be answered in order to fully know what we have actually found. Without it, we might find a chariot, but would have no way of knowing if it was from an Egyptian army drowned by Moses or a single one left on a beach that was a swept away.  Generally speaking however, a systematic and well funded expedition can reasonably answer these questions, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

 

Which brings me to the final point - cost. Land excavations are amazingly expensive, I recently visited a hillfort covered in 'dimples' where Bronze Age roundhouses were located yet only a couple had been excavated since it is so expensive. Underwater excavations are more so. This is, Jeff, why I suspect there aren't many archaeologists checking for this. It's not they don't want to prove the Bible, it's simply they don't have the money. However, if people are able to foot the bill for a >$20,000,000 creation museum, I see no reason there should be no funds available for a sufficiently detailed underwater excavation, so this shouldn't really be a problem either.

 

Long story short, if this event happened there should be some evidence of it, which we should have the funds and techniques to identify. The fact we haven't surprises me.

The funding seemed to be the biggest hindrance to me as well.  Of course, I believe there are probably several archeologists that would not like to verify a supernatural event like the drowning of Pharaoh's army, but I'd say there's enough curiosity for people to look if it wasn't so expensive. 

It's a shame stuff costs money.  All those South and Central American pyramids sitting there untouched (not to mention partially examined sites all over the world) just seem to be wasting. 

Adam J. Benton said:

Generally speaking, the conditions for underwater preservation aren't extraordinarily rare - ancient shipwrecks have been found in the red sea before, I believe, and there are over 1,000 shipwrecks known of in the Mediterranean alone - nor is the great age such artefacts would be especially prohibitive - the oldest ships ever found are Phonecian, whose first extra-biblical reference dates to around the same age as the first extra-biblical reference toIsrael. Indeed, there are only 3 really prohibitive factors in underwater archaeology.

 

The first is the amount of material - underwater preservation isn't especially rare, as I mentioned. What is rare is the frequency with which we drop things in the water. The sea is a large place and we occupy only a small amount of it for a small amount of time. However, if an entire army is being buried here, one would expect there to be a plethora of artefacts.

 

The second is the unknown - guaranteeing something is down there is only half the battle. Questions such as "Is this representative of what was lost?" or "Is this the same place it was lost in?" must also be answered in order to fully know what we have actually found. Without it, we might find a chariot, but would have no way of knowing if it was from an Egyptian army drowned by Moses or a single one left on a beach that was a swept away.  Generally speaking however, a systematic and well funded expedition can reasonably answer these questions, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

 

Which brings me to the final point - cost. Land excavations are amazingly expensive, I recently visited a hillfort covered in 'dimples' where Bronze Age roundhouses were located yet only a couple had been excavated since it is so expensive. Underwater excavations are more so. This is, Jeff, why I suspect there aren't many archaeologists checking for this. It's not they don't want to prove the Bible, it's simply they don't have the money. However, if people are able to foot the bill for a >$20,000,000 creation museum, I see no reason there should be no funds available for a sufficiently detailed underwater excavation, so this shouldn't really be a problem either.

 

Long story short, if this event happened there should be some evidence of it, which we should have the funds and techniques to identify. The fact we haven't surprises me.

It isn't just cost, there are infrastructural issues too - many museums are running out of space to store artefacts, for example, and most archaeology nowadays is purely to 'rescue' sites about to be built on - but these aren't issues which a couldn't be solved by a well motivated, well run and well funded group. Whilst it might fall outside the purview of AiG (answers in exodus anyone?) their success demonstrates that there is the potential for such an organisation to exist within the Christian community.

 

So why there isn't is beyond me.



Adam J. Benton said:

It isn't just cost, there are infrastructural issues too - many museums are running out of space to store artefacts, for example, and most archaeology nowadays is purely to 'rescue' sites about to be built on - but these aren't issues which a couldn't be solved by a well motivated, well run and well funded group. Whilst it might fall outside the purview of AiG (answers in exodus anyone?) their success demonstrates that there is the potential for such an organisation to exist within the Christian community.

 

So why there isn't is beyond me.

 

Dear David

 

You might check out the book "The Exodus Case"  by Lennart Moller.  2008

 

Best Regards    Robert Buckman

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