Do you know that 23 mountains in the Middle East compete for the prestigious Biblical title: Mount Sinai? The most famous one is in the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt. But a trip around the High Mountain region of the Negev, close to the large Wadi Faran, Wadi Tznifim, and Wadi Tzihor may reveal a different story.
Mount Karkom is there, surrounded by cliffs. It is one of the most important religious centers of worship both in the Negev and in the vast Sinai desert. There are more than 40,000 registered inscriptions, petroglyphs, and ancient temples. It is little known, but it draws the attention of historians and archaeologists.
What distinguishes Monte Karkom and its prominent ridge from its surroundings? It is the concentration of petroglyphs and worship places. It contains three times more findings than any other archaeological site in the region, which suggests that this discovery is important.
Most research and excavations on Mount Karkom were made by Professor Emmanuel Anati and his team. For twenty years or more, they dug these archaeological sites. Most of them date from the Paleolithic, Chalcolithic period and the beginning and mid-Bronze Age. The excavations have involved scholars and experts from five continents and from various disciplines. Several excavations have been carried on including living sites, shrines and tumuli. Professor Anati identifies the place with the Biblical Mount Sinai.
“The first archaeological considerations which suggested a link between Har Karkom and Mount Sinai were based on the analogies between the field discoveries and biblical descriptions. Near one living site of the BAC period, at the foot of the mountain, a group of 12 pillars were found, in front of a stone platform. This recalls the Exodus passage (24,4): “And Moses got up early in the morning and built at the foot of the mountain an altar and 12 pillars, for the 12 tribes of Israel”. Here we found an altar and twelve pillars at the foot of the mountain, near a camping site from the Bronze Age. Obviously, we are not in a position to prove that this monument was built by Moses and not even that Moses ever existed, but the monument is there, and if nothing more, it was probably seen and interpreted by ancient visitors in biblical times.” – Professor Anati
After some very successful trips, Anati says he’s found the path that B’nei Israel could have used in the Exodus to get to Mount Sinai (Karkom). This very thorough vision feeds the curiosity of people who visit Mount Karkom. It is located not far from Mitzpe Ramon, a small town in the Negev.
Is this the place where the People of Israel received the Ten Commandments and there became a nation? Let’s discover it together!
Are you curious to visit this important site? Contact us for more information.
For more information on Professor Anati’s work, visit www.harkarkom.com