Deities Worshipped at Serabit el-Khadim
Figure of Hathor from the temple of Serabit
Hathor is an important ancient Egyptian female bovine deity, whose cult has existed since prehistory. She had several roles, including that of goddess of goodness, music, and happiness. She was also considered to be a deity of the afterlife, and the goddess of foreign lands and their goods. She was also associated with the desert and its products. It is still unclear, however, why the Egyptians chose Hathor to be worshipped in Serabit el-Khadim. A common opinion proposes that the reason lies in the relationship between Hathor and the moon, as a moon cult existed in Sinai before the Hathor cult. Another suggestion is that she was chosen because of her role as goddess of deserts and foreign lands, and their goods, and as such, she could be the patroness of exploitation of the deserts and their minerals. Therefore, the association between Hathor and turquoise gave her the title nbt-mfkAt (the Lady of Turquoise), and was the reason behind the presence of her temple at Serabit el-Khadim.