Egeria visited Sinai around the year 380, and describes the valley with its garden, and in the midst of the garden, a church next to the bush. The monks of the area ministered to the pilgrims, escorting them to the various sites, reading the scriptural accounts connected with each, and offering the pilgrims vegetables from their own gardens. Many pilgrim accounts concerning the Sinai have been preserved, and these are of the greatest importance in reconstructing the history of the area. Earlier visitors came as pilgrims, eager to pray at the various shrines. Later visitors have often come out of scholarly interests or curiosity.
The accounts of pilgrims and visitors are supplemented by paintings, engravings, and lithographs made by artists. In the nineteenth century, and to the present day, important photographs have been made of the area and its inhabitants.