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Ancient Tell Herr in NW Sinai (Egypt)


Tell el Herr by Dominique Valbelle

Tell el-Herr is located in northwest Sinai in the vicinity of Gilbana, a bedouin village on the road joining el-Qantara to el-Arish. In antiquity this area was the eastern limit of Nome XIV of Lower Egypt. Tell el-Herr lay south of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile 7 km from Tell el-Farama (Pelusium). This northern part of the Egyptian border was characterized by lagoons along the Mediterranean coast and the slow evolution of the shore and the situation of the two southern lagoons determined the distribution of the fortifications and settlements in the region. Tell el-Herr has been identified with the site of Migdol but to date no remains from the time of either Pharaonic Egypt or the Old Testament prophets have been excavated (1) (2).

Situated in the North-West of Sinai in the vicinity of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, Tell Herr is composed of a mound occupied by successive fortresses, an extensive settlement and several cemeteries. The most ancient remains -- enclosure walls and a religious complex in mud bricks -- date back to the Persian Period (5th century BC). This level was erased to be replaced by a larger fortress -- including an oriental palace and many military living units -- at the very beginning of the 4th century, built in cylindrical mud bricks. The later buildings of Hellenistic and early Roman levels were mostly destroyed by the construction of a late Roman camp at the end of the 3rd century on the tell while the settlement and the necropolis are still visible outside ...


The Nile delta at the time of Herodotus according to James Rennell (1800) --- The Greek
Classical period (510 BC - 323 BC) based on the writings of Herodotus (484 BC - 425 BC)

(1) Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt edited by Kathryn A. Bard (2005)

(2) MIGDOL at 2018 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium