History of South Sinai in the Byzantine and Islamic Periods
Sinai was a borderland, often raided by early nomadic tribes. Many fortresses were built in the peninsula; some of them, like Ras Raya fortress and Deir el-Wadi monastery-fortress in el-Tor, were on the Red Sea coast, to protect Roman ships trading with India and the Far East.
Christianity spread rapidly in the peninsula and Christian pilgrims soon reached the holy places that were believed to witness the passage of Moses. The earliest account is the Travelogue by Egeria; a Spanish pilgrim who visited Sinai in 382 AD. A Bishop of Pharan (modern Feiran) named Nectarios is mentioned as early as the end of the 4th century.
The History of South Sinai in Modern Times
At the end of the 15th century, until the first years of the following century, the Red Sea became the theater of a naval war between the Portuguese and the Mamluks. In 1517, Turkish Sultan Selim I conquered Egypt and turned it into a province of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish period was peaceful and even slumberous.