Volume 2 (2014)

First page of the paper.

Proceedings of the first egyptological conference of the Patriarchate of Alexandria

Opening Turquoise Galleries: Divine Gift or Scientific Experience?

Mansour, Ahmed


Turquoise was mined mainly in Sinai, at Maghara and at Serabit ᾽el-Khadim. Before the ancient Egyptian miners started their mining work, they would seek the permission of the relevant divinity, in order to proceed, i.e.: of Hathor (lady of turquoise / nbt-mfkAt). This permission could be obtained either by retrieving the mined minerals, or by praising the divinity, or by performing a special cult ritual celebrating the opening ceremony. Factors such as the divine control over the mineral Universe could easily raise the question: opening a turquoise gallery was a divine gift at first; then a scientific experience at second. In this paper we shall try to shed light on the efforts of the ancient Egyptian miners in the turquoise mines in Sinai as well as to their veneration of divinities.


Mansour, A. 2014. «Opening Turquoise Galleries: Divine Gift or Scientific Experience?», JHIE 2: 189–197



Language: en


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