Friday, March 5, 2010



Nawamis,  are tombs located in the Sinai Desert.  
They are circular stone structures. 

The dating of bones found in the tombs is from 4000 – 3150 BCE.

Nawamis are constructed of sandstone, about 2 to 2.5 m (6.6 to 8.2 ft) high and 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 ft) in diameter, and have openings facing West.

These mysterious prehistoric structures can be dated back to the Chalcolithic period (Copper Stone Age), which was about 4000-3150 BC. 

Archeologists have found coloured beads, bracelets out of shells, tools and bones insite the tombs which they believe to have been funeral offerings

It is believed that the Nawamis were ancient burial chambers. However, the identity of those been buried here is still a unclear. 

Probably the biggest place to be visited - with more that 30 Nawamis - is right next to the road from Nuweiba to St. Catherine. To enjoy the emazing view of the valley it may be recommended to go shortly before sunset. 

Ain Khurda and the Nawamis

Along the asphalt road, which goes from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Katherine via Dahab, you can visit archaeological and naturalistic sites of great interest.

There is a good panoramic point, by a crossing, from which you can enjoy the view of the huge Wadi Ghazala or "Valley of the Gazelles".

After eight kilometers, on the right, a short but very sandy track-a cross-country vehicle is necessary –leads to an isolated outcrop of sandstones, known as the Rocks of inscriptions. Their name derives from the presence of numerous graffiti dating back to the Byzantine, Medieval and Nabatean ages.

After a few hundred meters you will arrive at the so-called Observation point, a panoramic point overlooking the small oasis of Ain Khurda.
You can get there on foot via the narrow path going down to Wadi Khurda or by driving a cross-country vehicle along the difficult track in the Wadi Ghazala.

Despite its tiny size, Ain Khurda is one of the most beautiful oases in Sinai, with its green palm trees surrounded by sand of an intense yellow, its springs and the dwellings of the Bedouin tribesmen who live there it is also a place of great historical interest, since it was along the itinerary followed in the Byzantine age by pilgrims on their way from Eilat (the ancient Aila) to Saint Katherine and to the Wadi Feiran.

A very interesting archaeological site is located a few Kilometers from the Observation point, in that part of the desert going in the opposite direction to the asphalt road/ there you can see one of the most beautiful concentrations of Nawamis (this term means "files" in Arabic ) in Sinai. These small, circular, dry-stone buildings with west-facing entrances were employed as burial-grounds between the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age in the fourth millennium B.C.

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