Photo, Print, Drawing Part of the gardens of St. Catherine Monastery - Mt. Sinai
About this Item
- Part of the gardens of St. Catherine Monastery - Mt. Sinai
- Men squatting while attending plants on a terraced garden, others walk on a side path.
- Underwood & Underwood, photographer
Created / Published
- c1911 March 23.
- - Saint Catherine (Monastery : Mount Sinai)--Facilities--1910-1920
- - Gardening--Egypt--Sinai--1910-1920
- Photographic prints--1910-1920.
- Photographic prints--1910-1920
- - J153405 U.S. Copyright Office.
- - Title from item.
- - No. U-122438.
- - Photograph taken from the orchard of Saint Catherine Monastery at the lower north terrace in Wadi El Dier (Biblical Holy Valley), looking southeast and showing Siqqat Sydina Musa to summit of Gebel Musa (Biblical Mount Sinai) to the right, the chapel of St. Tryphon and underneath it the Ossuary, Charnel or bone-house in centre-right between the cypress trees, a whitewashed subsidiary building (only the lower part of the building remains in the present) and the northeastern wall 'northern wall for simplification' of Justinian's fortress in centre-left in the background, and the retaining walls and the terraces of the almond and cypress trees from right to left in the foreground. (A. Shams, Sinai Peninsula Research, 2018)
- - Saint Catherine Monastery was constructed in 545 CE by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565 CE). The Byzantine monastic settlements practiced mountain agriculture. A single settlement was or a cluster of settlements were composed of buildings (dwellings), hermit cells, prayer niches, rock-paved paths and agricultural plots (water dams and wells, reservoirs, conduits and retaining walls). The water structures were used (and still) in harvesting runoff water (rain and snow) from the slopes of the surrounding mountains to irrigate the orchards and agriculture plots. The climate of the High Mountains of Sinai Peninsula allowed the monks and later Bedouins of the Gebaliya tribe to grow: apricots (first half of June), apples (end of June), peaches and figs (early July), early grapes (mid July), figs, plums and grapes (end of July - early August), almonds, pomegranates and apples (August), pears (end of August), quince (September), red grapes and winter apples (October), and winter pears (end of October and early November). There are 632 re-used or new mountain orchards, where many of Byzantine origin, and 361 agricultural plots across the mountain range. The orchards of Saint Catherine Monastery and its peripheries El Arba'ein (The Forty Martyrs or Arseluas), Cosmos and Damian (Raheb) and El Bustan (Virgin Mary or Theotkos) monasteries have the largest orchards. The latter three are dominated by olive groves, e.g. 700 olive trees in El Arba'ein in 1816 CE. There were three water wells and three springs in the orchard of Saint Catherine Monastery in early 20th century CE, where an underground tunnel connects the orchard with the monastery. The Ossuary, Charnel or bone-house is located in the vault under the chapel of St. Tryphon, where the skulls of the monks are separated from the rest of the skeletal remains and the relics of the archbishops are placed in sidewall niches, all collected from their primary burial since the foundation of the monastery. There is a small chapel inside the northern wall behind the double-tower of St. Gregory. It could be easily reached via the wooden stairway of the museum in the northern alley inside the monastery. The hanging door was used for centuries to allow travellers and supplies inside the monastery, to distribute bread and food supplies on the Gebaliya and other Bedouin tribes ("El-Tawara Tribal Alliance" in South Sinai between the following tribes: Mezena, 'Aliqat, Hamada and Bani Wasel, Awlad Sa'aed, Qrarsha and Sawalha, and Gebaliya, in addition to Mawtra tribe), and to avoid the danger of opening the main gate. Napoleon's commander in Egypt re-built the northern wall of the monastery in 1801 CE, after it had partially collapsed due to a flashflood following heavy rain in 1798 CE. (A. Shams, Sinai Peninsula Research, 2018)
- 1 photographic print: stereograph, unmounted.
Call Number/Physical Location
- LOT 13559, no. 59 [P&P]
- Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
- ppmsca 05044 https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.05044
Library of Congress Control Number
- LC-DIG-ppmsca-05044 (digital file from original)
- No known restrictions on publication. No renewal in Copyright office.
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- Call Number: LOT 13559, no. 59 [P&P]
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Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Underwood & Underwood, photographer. Part of the gardens of St. Catherine Monastery - Mt. Sinai. Egypt Sinai, ca. 1911. March 23. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2004672944/.
APA citation style:
Underwood & Underwood, photographer. (ca. 1911) Part of the gardens of St. Catherine Monastery - Mt. Sinai. Egypt Sinai, ca. 1911. March 23. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2004672944/.
MLA citation style:
Underwood & Underwood, photographer. Part of the gardens of St. Catherine Monastery - Mt. Sinai. March 23. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2004672944/>.