Sinai, St Catherine's Monastery, Chapel of the Burning Bush

Era 10AD
Location Qesm Sharm Ash Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt

At Sinai, in St Catherine’s Monastery, the small mosaic in the Chapel of the Burning Bush is conventionally dated to the ninth-tenth century. It is hard to date – in part because it is almost impossible to see as access to the chapel is limited and the mosaic is in a steep, low conch behind an altar table – and it has never been properly examined. It depicts a roundel with a cross with flared ends on a blue background, set into a gold background. The cross has led to the assumption that this must relate in some way to Iconoclasm, though this seems unlikely. If it is a tenth-century mosaic, then this is a Christian mosaic placed in a Christian monastery in Islamic territory.

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