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The Sinai Peninsula and its Environs: Our Changing Perceptions of a Pivotal Land Bridge Between Egypt, the Levant, and Arabia

Gregory Mumford


The Sinai Peninsula has provided a continuous land bridge connecting northeast Africa and Asia, and particularly Ancient Egypt with the Levant. This paper focuses mainly upon past through recent explorations of Ancient Egypt’s Prehistoric through pharaonic interactions with the Sinai and its environs, including the Negev, and in particular considers our changing perceptions of Egyptian contact and influence, and also examines Near Eastern, Arabian, and other cross-cultural relations with the Sinai. The nature of these cross-cultural relations fluctuates and changes, taking place in three main areas: the North Sinai transit route between Egypt’s East Delta and Southwest Levant, a Red Sea crossing to South Sinai to obtain turquoise, copper, and other materials, and a more complex, adjacent Negev route between the Red Sea and Southwest Levant, which variously accommodated Egyptians, Canaanites, and others mining copper in the southern Arabah and Faynan, obtaining Red Sea shells, and getting aromatics from Arabia.


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