A feature story on Serabit el-Kadim in Sinai, with photos.
"His majesty of this God has sent the God's treasurer, the assistant and leader of the troupe, Her-Wer-Re, to the mining lands and he said: there is abundant turquoise in the hill."
With these words, Chief Her-Wer-Re began documenting the work of his mining expedition sent by the pharaoh (his majesty of this God) to Serabit al-Khadem in South Sinai during the Middle Kingdom Period (ca. 2055-1985 BC). In the inscriptions on his stele at the mine, he boasts of the success of his expedition despite rumors that turquoise ore might be lacking at that particular time of year: "My expedition returned complete in its entirety … I broke off in the first month of summer, bringing my precious stone … I accomplished my work with great success without a voice being raised against my work, which I have done excellently."
Rock inscriptions left by ancient Egyptian miners in South Sinai are rich with details of working conditions and weather, as well as praise for the pharaoh and the gods. They present a lively narrative of daily life that can be easily compared to modern business reports, or even a diary.