Wadi Maghara

mine

Location

Geographical coordinates: 28°54′ N / 33°22′ E

Wadi Maghara is situated in South Sinai and comprises the mines of turquoise located in the row of great cliffs in the western side of Wadi Qenaieh. Wadi is oriented north-south and on the south it enters the larger valley, Wadi Qena. The area of mines extends less that 400m from the entrance to the wadi. Between Wadi Qenaieh and Wadi Qena the plateau towers up to 60m over the valley. At the base of the rock, natural terraces are formed.

Description

Hatshepsut's interest in South Sinai is well attested even before she became a king, but the only inscription of the queen preserved in the mines of turquoise in Wadi Maghara is the stela of the 16th year of Thutmose III incised on the rock just outside the gallery used at that time. This date coincidences with the date of the inscription preserved on the east face of the base of the obelisk of Hatshepsut erected by the queen in Karnak. It is said there that the queen controlled, most probably, the expedition to the land of Ršwt.[1] It is not clear if the region of South Sinai was mentioned by the queen, but it is possible.[2]

The stela of the 16th year of Thutmose III was carved in Wadi Maghara to commemorate the expedition (mšȝ) that was led by the official of the queen called Kheru-ef. He was sent by the king "to traverse valleys (...) in bringing things for his majesty."[3] It is not obvious who sent Kheru-ef to Wadi Maghara, since even if male king (ḥm.f) is mentioned on the stela, Hatshepsut is as well treated there as a male king being described as being beloved (mrj) of Sopdu Lord of the East.

It is probable that the workers taken by Kheru-ef were housed in huts built on the plateau on the east side of the valley, but nothing survived from the times of Hatshepsut.[4] Among the pottery examined by M. Chartier-Raymond there were also examples attested from the end of the Middle Kingdom to the New Kingdom.[5] The huts were probably placed on the platform formed by the plateau for safety of workers and protection against wild animals.[6] Water could be delivered from the wells of the Wadi Qena which were located at a distance of 2.5km.[7]

The mines in wadi were situated about 50-75m above the level of the valley in the sandstone rock.[8] The gallery was rather small and measured ca. 7.5m of length, 1.5-1.8m of width and over 2.5m of height. W.M.F. Petrie noticed that the way of exploration differed from the other places in the area. The circular holes for breaking the stone were not prepared, but the natural fissures were used to extract the stone with the help of metal chisels. Some flint flakes were found during Petrie's excavations.[9]

Footnotes

  1. ^ 26: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Historisch-biographische Urkunden - - 1906 - Sethe, Kurt.
  2. ^ 74: The Inscriptions of Sinai I - Oxford University Press - 1917 - Peet, T. Eric, Gardiner, Alan H., Černý, Jaroslav; 386: Materialien zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte des Neuen Reiches (Teil VI) - - 1969 - Helck, Wolfgang.
  3. ^ 74: The Inscriptions of Sinai I - Oxford University Press - 1917 - Peet, T. Eric, Gardiner, Alan H., Černý, Jaroslav.
  4. ^ 320: Researches in Sinai - - 1906 - Petrie, William Matthew Flinders; 74: The Inscriptions of Sinai I - Oxford University Press - 1917 - Peet, T. Eric, Gardiner, Alan H., Černý, Jaroslav.
  5. ^ 387: Notes sur Maghara (Sinaï) - - 1988 - Chartier-Raymond, Maryvonne.
  6. ^ 320: Researches in Sinai - - 1906 - Petrie, William Matthew Flinders.
  7. ^ 74: The Inscriptions of Sinai I - Oxford University Press - 1917 - Peet, T. Eric, Gardiner, Alan H., Černý, Jaroslav.
  8. ^ 74: The Inscriptions of Sinai I - Oxford University Press - 1917 - Peet, T. Eric, Gardiner, Alan H., Černý, Jaroslav; 387: Notes sur Maghara (Sinaï) - - 1988 - Chartier-Raymond, Maryvonne.
  9. ^ 320: Researches in Sinai - - 1906 - Petrie, William Matthew Flinders.

Jadwiga Iwaszczuk

Exploration

Explorer/Institution working previously: Ulrich Jasper SeetzenKarl Richard LepsiusM. Lottin de LavalHeinrich Karl BrugschGeorg Moritz EbersJacques de Morgan, Gustave Jéquier, Georges LegrainLudwig BorchardtWilliam Matthew Flinders Petrie, Egypt Exploration FoundC.T. Currelly, Raymond WeillA. Barrois, Harvard University expeditionAlan Henderson Gardiner, Thomas Eric Peet, Jaroslav Černý, Egypt Exploration SocietyJacques DaumasItzhaq Beit-Arieh, Raphaël Giveon, Beno RothenbergMaryvonne Chartier-RaymondC.K. Macdonald

Ancient people connected to the site: Kheru-ef ,

Objects:

Bibliography:

  • Peet Thomas Eric, Gardiner Alan H., Černý Jaroslav, The Inscriptions of Sinai I, Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund XXXVI, Oxford 1917, 22-28, 74 [44], pls XIV, XV
  • Petrie William Matthew Flinders, Researches in Sinai, New York 1906, 38-40, 49
  • Helck Wolfgang, Materialien zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte des Neuen Reiches (Teil VI), Abhandlungen der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 4, Wiesbaden 1969, 51
  • Chartier-Raymond Maryvonne, Notes sur Maghara (Sinaï), in: Cahiers de Recherches de l'Institute de Papyrologie et d'Égyptologie de Lille 10, 1988, 13-22
  • Cooney John D., Major Macdonald, a Victorian Romantic, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 58, 1972, 280-285$
  • Bard Kathryn, Shubert Steven Blake, Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of the Ancient Egypt, London, New York 1999, 1071-1075
  • Chartier-Raymond Maryvonne, Gratien Brigitte, Traunecker Claude, Vinçon Jean-Marc, Les sites miniers pharaoniques du Sud Sinaï. Quelques notes et observations de terrain, Cahiers de Recherches de l'Institute de Papyrologie et d'Égyptologie de Lille 16, 1994, 36-41