The discovery of the remains of a large Egyptian army at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 km offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib, has been announced this morning by Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry. The team of underwater archaeologists was in search of ancient shipwrecks and artefacts from the Stone and Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea, when they came across a huge pile of human bones dated back to the 14th century BC.
Over 400 different skeletons have been discovered by the team of scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader from the Faculty of Archaeology at Cairo University. The discovery also includes hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor, the remains of two war chariots, dispersed over an area of nearly 200 square meters. According to the archaeologists, more than 5,000 other bodies could be scattered over a wider area, which implies that it’s possibly a large army that had disappeared in this area.
The image shows a superb blade from an Egyptian khopesh, which was a very important weapon at the time. As it was discovered near the relics of an ornately decorated war chariot, the team believes that it possibly belonged to a prince or nobleman.
The numerous clues found at the site have led Professor Gader and his team to believe that the bodies are related to the well-known Exodus. Namely, the ancient soldiers appear to have died on land, because the researchers didn’t find any traces of boats or ships in the area. Plus, the position of the bodies, along with the fact that they were stuck in clay and rock, indicates that the warriors had possibly died in a mudslide or a tidal wave.
Also, the large number of bodies points toward a big-sized army. All of these facts support the biblical version of the Red Sea Crossing, when the army of the Egyptian Pharaoh was destroyed by the returning waters that Moses had parted.
The recent discovery confirms that during the reign of King Akhenaten, there truly was an Egyptian army of large size destroyed by the waters of the Red Sea.
The legendary biblical account of the “Red Sea Crossing” has been regarded as more allegorical than historical by most scholars and historians for many centuries.
However, the find sheds light on one the most famed episode of the Old Testament proving that it was really based on a real event.
The archaeological site is in line for further research in the following years and scientists are hopeful to recover the rest of the bodies and artefacts from what appears to be one of the most important archaeological underwater sites ever discovered.