Desert peninsula in Egypt, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Red Sea to the south, the Nile Delta to the west, and modern Israel to the east. Throughout the Dynastic period (c. 2925–30 bc) the ancient Egyptians built various settlements and shrines in Sinai, mainly in the vicinity of turquoise or copper mines. From later periods dates the important site of the fortified monastery of St Catherine (see §2 below), founded in the 6th century ad, which contains outstanding collections of Early Christian icons and manuscripts.
Remains from the Dynastic period are concentrated at the northern coast and in the south-western (turquoise-bearing) region of Sinai (see fig.). The northern sites include settlements of the 1st Dynasty (c. 2925–c. 2775 bc), wayside camps and installations of the New Kingdom (c. 1540–c. 1075 bc), as well as larger settlements of the Late Period (...