I spent a good portion of the day deep in research for the sequel to Shards of Heaven. It’s been enjoyable, to say the least. A great deal of my delving has been on the subject of Mt. Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments according to the Torah.
There are many places that have been historically identified as the mount, including several on what is now called, as a result, the Sinai Peninsula, but I’m looking further north and east, assuming that J in particular is the firmest account of the Exodus. I’m looking more toward Edom.
Happily, there are some historical associations with Moses in and around the old Nabataean kingdom, and I’m feeling quite confident about the identifications I’m making. The history should be solid, and the book will be all the better for it. As was the case with Shards, the research is also opening up new avenues for character development and good ol’ plot craziness.
This is as good a time as any to give “props” (as the kidz say these days) to Google Earth. It’s astonishing to be able to “fly” across satellite imagery of the Middle-East, seeking ancient sites. Now if only I could afford the time and money to walk on the ground over there…
Guilty pleasure admission: While doing all this research, I kept replaying in mind this scene from Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I: