Stone Dam

To the left, one can see the ruins of a stone dam built to retain the rainwater. This replenished the wells, and provided water for simple gardens on the high Sinai plateau.

3 comments to Stone Dam

  • Richard

    Father Justin, when were these built? Did the Sinai have a more substantial rainfall in years past? Your photographs are always so interesting.

    • Father Justin

      When Egeria visited Sinai around the year 383, the monks brought fruits and vegetables from their gardens for the benefit of the pilgrims. It is likely that even then, hermits were living in the area that I photographed. In the sixth and seventh centuries, there would have been many monks and hermits throughout the south Sinai peninsula. Numbers declined after the seventh century, as Sinai became more isolated. But even in the thirteenth century, Saint Gregory of Sinai spent time living in solitude in the area. More recently, monks have lived in these hermitages from time to time, but not for years on end.
      In Sinai, it rains during the winter months. Water can become scarce during the summer, when it is most needed. The monks were finding ways to conserve the water, so that it would last into the summer. I think Sinai has always been a place where water was precious, and even now we are grateful every time it rains.

  • Maria

    Thanks Father Justin for the interesting photograph
    I strongly love that mountain and miss it a lot
    With love in our St Katherine

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