Courtesy the Library of Congress and the Egyptian Exploration Society

This detailed drawing of the relief of Seti I depicts features of the Egyptian highway across northern Sinai which made the highway a formidable military obstacle. The scene is divided into two unequal parts by a canal filled with crocodiles and fish. This canal separated Egypt on the right from the Sinai desert. Fortresses identified by letters G, E, D, B, C appear along the road on both sides of the canal. Below G, E and D, the well or pool of the fortress is also depicted.

The scene on the left shows Seti I travelling toward Egypt with prisoners tied together by their necks. On the other side of the canal, Egyptians pay homage to their victorious Pharaoh. Seti I had this relief carved on the exterior north wall of the great Hypostyle Hall in the Temple of Amun at Karnak during his brief reign from 1,306 to 1,290 B.C.

The Israelites did not dare attempt to escape Egypt via this well fortified highway, although it was the shortest route to Canaan. Consequently, they made a wide swing into Trans Jordan, then crossed the Jordan River from the east to invade Canaan.