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Sir Flinders Petrie, the Father of Palestinian Archaeology, states that the copper and turquoise mines in Sinai were “in the desert One gets the impression reading Williams, Blum and Cornuke that the Egyptians had year-round mining activities and a standing army all over Sinai (Williams 1990: 58).
It is true there were turquoise mines at Serabit el-Khadem in southern Sinai (Beit-Arieh 1993:35-1338).
The Egyptians never occupied that mining district with a garrison, but only sent expeditions; at the most these were in alternate years, and in the time of Merenptah only once in many years (Petrie 1906: 206).
It is also true that there were Egyptian soldiers garrisoned in fortresses in Sinai.
However, as Petrie (1906: viii, 169) points out, mining was seasonal, from January to April, so the Israelites would have found Sinai “quite empty” when they left Egypt.
He concluded, The argument that the Israelites would not have travelled down to the region of the Egyptian mines has no force whatever.
Fasold claims this device can detect various types of metal under the ground.