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Home Forums Location of Mount Sinai Attributes of the proposed mountains Reply To: Attributes of the proposed mountains

  • Deborah Hurn

    March 31, 2021 at 6:34 am

    Well spotted, Thomas, it is indeed 1300 sites. As you observe, it is so easy to inflate figures by powers of ten, which seems to be what has also happened to a lot of the OT numbers. The good outcome is that I had to look up some of Anati’s latest publications to check: Here is his 2017 update on the 2001 “Riddle of Mount Sinai”:

    Anati, Emmanuel. The Riddle of Mount Sinai: Archaeological Discoveries at Har Karkom. 2nd Eng ed. Studi Camuni 21. Capo di Ponte: Atelier, 2017. 

    [16] The annual expeditions have allowed the systematic

    surveying of the 200 square kilometers of our

    archaeological concession. Each research season added

    new findings and stimulated the rethinking of previous

    discoveries. Each new visit to an already surveyed site

    provided new insight and additional information.

    In 1980, when we started this survey, the ten rock art

    sites discovered in 1954 were the only archaeological

    finds known in the area. Today, over 1,300 archaeological

    sites have been recorded. These include the remains of

    villages, campsites, places of worship, rock art areas,

    inhabited rock shelters, burial grounds, geoglyphs and


    In 1983, thirty years after the first archaeological

    discoveries and relying on the data collected in four

    years of field surveys, we suggested the possible

    identification of Har Karkom with the biblical Mount

    Sinai. Over three decades have elapsed since then and

    the debate still continues.

    The proposal aroused a lively debate caused by

    both scientific and emotional reasons. Biblical experts,

    historians and Near Eastern archaeologists had opposite

    [17] positions about this hypothesis. At first, the majority

    of researchers were definitely against the proposed

    identification, raising a sharp opposition against such

    hypothesis and creating a sort of wall of anger against

    the upsetting of their established conceptions. The

    opposition gradually decreased, even though traditional

    exegetic schools still consider such proposal as a sort of


    Most scholars today accept the evidence that Har

    Karkom was a paramount sacred mountain in the

    Bronze Age and in earlier periods but, like all good

    historical discourse, the controversy is not solved. Is

    this the mountain that the Bible calls Sinai? What are the

    arguments in favor of and against such a hypothesis?

    How can the archaeological discoveries help us to

    [19] solve the questions regarding what happened on this