Israel Finkelstein

Archaeologists survey ruins of a Byzantine monastery at the foot of Jebel Umm Shomer in remote southern Sinai. Called Deir Umm-Arad in Arabic, the monastery was sustained by a small spring that runs through a wadi, left, below the ruins, and by the occasional rains that rolled down from the granite slopes to soak into the soil of small valleys and crevices. In narrow valleys like these, little moisture is lost to evaporation.