Researches in Sinai
by W. M. Flinders Petrie
This book is W. M. Flinders Petrie's report on an expedition he made in 1905 to the Sinai Peninsula and is mainly concerned with the ruins of the Temple of Serabít (located in the mountains on the southwestern part of the peninsula). This temple was dedicated to the Egyptian deity Hat.Hor (originally Ishtar, according to Petrie), and was associated with nearby mines which were a source of turquoise for the Egyptian pharaohs.
The temple was begun under Sneferu (IIIrd dynasty, dated by Flinders Petrie at c. 4770 BCE) and work was continued by later pharaohs, including Hatshepsut and Amenhotep III (c. 1490 BCE and c. 1400 BCE according to Petrie).
Petrie's book is interesting for several reasons:
- The exploration of an Egyptian temple in the Sinai devoted to Hat.Hor / Ishtar,
- his report of his discovery of fifty tons of "white wood ash" of uncertain origin,
- his revision of Egyptian chronology and
- his interpretation of the Book of Exodus, leading to the conclusion that the number of Israelites with Moses in the Sinai was far smaller than had previously been believed.
Material is here reproduced from selected chapters:
Chapter VII The History and Purpose of the Temple Chapter IX The Lesser and Foreign Monuments Chapter XII The Revision of Chronology Chapter XIII The Worship at Serabít El Khadem Chapter XIV The Conditions of the Exodus
The text given in these web pages was scanned from the original 1906 edition of Flinders Petrie's Researches in Sinai, John Murray, London (title page above left). Chapter XII was put into HTML by Peter Meyer in April 2000 CE and the rest by him in February/March 2001 CE. Material in [square brackets] in the text is Flinders Petrie's.
Curiously there is no mention of Flinders Petrie's Researches in Sinai on the Wikipedia page about him, or even on the Wikipedia page about Serabit el-Khadim. The first page page skips over the period 1896-1920, and thus ignores Petrie's 1905 visit to the Temple of Serabít. (Could this be another case of censorship at Wikipedia, perhaps motivated by a desire on the part of some editors to suppress Petrie's conclusions concerning the number of Israelites with Moses in the Sinai?) You may remove these holes in the Wikipedia pages by describing Petrie's research at the Temple of Serabít and including a link to this page or to The Worship at Serabít El Khadem (then see how quickly some Wikipedia 'editor' removes the link).
See also Queen Thyi, Mother of Akhenaten
A page which discusses Flinders Petrie's discovery of the "white ash"
at the Temple of Serabít is Cone Shaped Shewbread by Barry Carter.
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