Israel Finkelstein

Red granite ramparts of Jebel Serbal thrust towards the heavens. Near here, at the oasis of Feiran, an important center of Christian monasticism was located during the Byzantine period. A bishop served at this center, overseeing the spiritual well-being of all the Sinai monks and hermits.

In the sixth century, a Sinai traveler named Cosmas Indicopleustes identifed a mountain near Feiran as Mt. Sinai; he was probably writing of Jebel Serbal, which sheltered several monasteries during the Byzantine period.