Ascalon, Gaza, Negev and Sinai
134. Aphnaeum - (al-Kanisah ?)
Only the neutral article To; and the initial A remain from the name of another town in the region. Its name was Afnavion, as recorded by Hierocles (Synec. 57) and the Acta of the Ephesus council of AD 431, in which the bishop of that town, Hierax, played an important role. Nevertheless, it is incorrectly spelled Afqavion by George of Cyprus (695), and this name was adopted by M. Avi-Yonah (T M. Avi-Yonah, The Madaba Mosaic Map with Introduction and Commentary, Jerusalem 1954, 126) and others to restore the incomplete toponym on the Madaba map. Aphnaeum lay probably somewhat inland, and has tentatively been identified with the medieval and modern town of Qatia in the oasis of the same name. I would suggest rather to identify Aphnaeum with the site of Rumani, which lies nearer to the coast, along a road connecting the ancient Pharaonic highway with the city of Pelusium. The visit of Aphnaeum by private individuals traveling along the Sinai coast road is recorded in a geographical papyrus from the Byzantine period (Noordegraaf 1938, pl. 10).
Pau Figueras, "The Road Linking Palestine and Egypt along the Sinai Coast", in The Madaba Map Centenary, p. 222 (see also the complete article)
For more sources and bibliography see:
Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea - Palaestina (Jerusalem 1994) s.v. "Aphnaion", 64.
Map Section 9 Place Sources