For nearly a thousand years, from about 3000 B.C. to 2000 B.C., Har Karkom was a religious site of major importance. Recent archaeological discoveries of pottery, campsites, standing stones, altars, temples, and graves, have helped evoke prehistoric scenes of pilgrimage, funeral sites and worship. Even more vivid are the thousands of etchings of religious art found on the bare mountain surfaces.

Called an “eye of God,” the design on the top of the rock above was engraved far earlier than the lighter-colored Bedouin tribal mark to the right. With age, the sandy-colored incisions in the black flint outcroppings of Har Karkom have taken on a reddish patina.

Eight straight lines engraved on a rock may have represented eight important tenets in the religion of the many people who traveled to Har Karkom and worshipped on its summit. Like this rock, many others engraved during the Bronze Age included groups of parallel lines, usually numbering eight or ten. The darker colored winding design was probably made earlier than the eight lines. In general, the darker the pattern of the rock carving, the greater its age.

Divided into ten spaces, this grid may represent a rectangular stone tablet. Although no writing or symbols are engraved in the ten spaces, the author speculates that this rock drawing may depict the tablets that contained the Ten Commandments.

Along a rocky path, a large flint rock displays a twisting snake next to a staff. The scene may depict a staff turned into a snake. The author wonders: Is this graffito related to Exodus 7:8–12, in which Moses proves God’s power to Pharaoh by turning a staff into a snake and back again?