Egypt Monitu

           

 

  

 


 
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Monitu represents the ancient inhabitants of Sinai; at that time, Sinai was called the Country of Turquoise or Mafkat. Even from the Monitu period the turquoise was used and in this period the Sinai’s firsts mines appeared. Big turquoise mines appeared around 3000 BC in Sinai, during the first Dynasty. Maghara Wadi from Sinai Peninsula is the oldest turquoise source; other mine was at Serabit el-Khadim. In these places are about 6 mines, all of them being situated on the peninsula’s South West, on an area of about 650 square kilometers. The Serabit el-Khadim mine is located at four kilometers away from the ancient temple of Hathor. The ancient Egyptians used the turquoise for beads and for some complex jewelry, in combination with other stones for ornaments. More, the ancient Egyptians thought that the turquoise had mystical powers; they used it for figures, in art or to make ornaments like the jewelry of queen Zar (5500 BC). There were annually mining expeditions at the Sinai’s turquoise mines; the mines worked for the Egypt’s pharaohs for more than 2000 years. In the 19th century the turquoise mines were discovered again and used it till the beginning of the 21 century. Today, the mining of turquoise on a large scale is not profitable anymore but the Bedouins still quarry the deposits with the gunpowder made at home. Accidents can happen in the rainy months of winter because of the flash flooding but in the dry months too. The Sinai material, also known as the Egyptian turquoise, has a greener color, it is durable and stable. The Sinai turquoise is the most translucent and its surface structure has discs of a dark blue color that can not be met in the turquoise of other places.

 
 

 

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