3 DECEMBER 1921, Page 27

A History of Sinai. By Lina Eckenstein. (S.P.C.K. 8s. 6d.

net.)—Miss Eckenstein, who worked with Professor Flinders Petrie in his Sinai expedition of 1905, has written an interesting history of the peninsula. It was a centre of the moon-cult- Sin was the Babylonian• name of the moon-god—long before the Egyptians visited it to mine for turquoise and copper. The Egyptians left many traces of their presence at Serabit- in the mountains north of the Convent—which was the ancient " high place." The author's commentary on the Exodus is noteworthy. So, too, is her account of the hermits and monks who sought peace in the wilds of Sinai. Many were killed by the nomads, but the Convent of Sinai survived all misfortunes, largely through the help of Ivan the Terrible and later Tsars. Sinai was less barren in the past, but it was gradually deforested by the copper smelters and charcoal burners. The monks used to have large date plantations, but the Turks, always destructive, ruined them. Miss Eckenstein says that the Sinai nomads are half-starved, as the country no longer yields food enough. Its minerals, however, are not exhausted. The book is well illustrated with photographs and maps.