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Deir el-Medina
Ancient Egyptian: Set Ma'at
Q1H6
st-mꜣꜥt
"Place of Truth"
Deir el-Medina

Southwestern view of the workmen village's ruins at Deir el-Medina.©

Location Deir el-Medina,
Theban Necropolis
Coordinates 25°43′41″N, 32°36′05″E
Region Upper Egypt
Nome Waset
Main deities Ptah, Meretseger, Hathor

Deir el-Medina (Egyptian Arabic: دير المدينة, "Monastery of the City") is an ancient Egyptian workmen's village which was home to the artisans who worked on the tombs in the nearby Valley of the Kings during the New Kingdom (ca. 1550–1080 BCE).[1] The settlement's ancient name was Set Ma'at ("Place of Truth"), and the workmen who lived there held the title "Servant in the Place of Truth". During the Christian era, the temple of Hathor was converted into a church from which the Egyptian Arabic name Deir el-Medina is derived.[2]

Excavation[]

A significant find of papyri was made in the 1840s in the vicinity of the village and many objects were also found during the course of the 19th century. The archaeological site was first seriously excavated by Ernesto Schiaparelli between 1905–1909 which uncovered large amounts of ostraca. A French team directed by Bernard Bruyère excavated the entire site, including village, dump and cemetery, between 1922–1951. Unfortunately through lack of control it is now thought that about half of the papyri recovered were removed without the knowledge or authorization of the team director.

Around five thousand ostraca of assorted works of commerce and literature were found in a well close to the village.[3] Jaroslav Černý, who was part of Bruyère's team, went on to study the village for almost fifty years until his death in 1970 and was able to name and describe the lives of many of the inhabitants.[4] The peak overlooking the village was renamed "Mont Cernabru" in recognition of Černý and Bruyère's work on the village.[5]

Workmen's Village[]

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Sanctuary to Ptah and Meretseger[]

The Sanctuary to Ptah and Meretseger, located on the path between the workmen's village and the Valley of the Queens, was established towards the end of the Nineteenth Dynasty with active religious practice in the early Twentieth Dynasty. The sanctuary was probably a popular place to worship two local deities: Ptah of Ta-Set Neferu, the patron god of craftsmen (such as the tomb builders) and the Valley of the Queens, and Meretseger, the goddess of the Qurn and the Theban Necropolis. At the shrine, offerings could be made in front of rock-cut stelae.

Life at Deir el-Medina[]

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Workmen's Tombs[]

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List of tombs[]

Here follows a list of tombs discovered at Deir el-Medina.

Designated TT
Designation Owner Title Period
TT1 Sennedjem Servant in the Place of Truth[6] 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT2 Khabekhnet Servant in the Place of Truth[6] 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT3 Pashedu Servant in the Place of Truth[6] 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT4 Qen Sculptor of Amun[6] 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT5 Neferabet Servant in the Place of Truth[6] 20th Dynasty
TT6 Neferhotep and Nebnefer Chief of Workmen in the Place of Truth (the former)[6] 18th and 19th Dynasty, HoremhebRamesses II
TT7 Ramose Scribe in the Place of Truth[6] 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT8 Kha Chief of the Great Place[6] 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep IIAmenhotep III
TT9 Amenmose Servant in the Place of Truth[6] 20th Dynasty
TT10 Kasa / Penbuy Servant in the Place of Truth[6] 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT210 Raweben Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT211 Paneb Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT212 Ramose Scribe in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT213 Penamun Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT214 Khawi Custodian in the Place of Truth, Priest of Amun in Luxor 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT215 Amenemopet Scribe in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT216 Neferhotep Foreman in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT217 Ipuy Sculptor 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT218 Nakhtamun and Iymway Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT219 Nebenmaat Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT220 Khaemteri Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT250 Ramose Scribe in the Place of Truth
TT265 Amenemopet Scribe in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Seti IRamesses II
TT266 Nakhtamun Chief Craftsman in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty
TT267 Hay Officer of Workmen in the Place of Truth, Fashioner of the images of all the gods in the House of Gold 20th Dynasty
TT268 Nebnakhte Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty
TT290 Irynufer Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT291 Nakhtmin and Nu Servant in the Place of Truth 18th Dynasty, Horemheb
TT292 Pashedu Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Seti IRamesses II
TT299 Inherkhau Foreman in the Place of Truth
TT321 Khaemopet Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT322 Penshenabu Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT323 Pashedu Outline-Draughtsman in the Place of Truth and in the Temple of Sokar 19th Dynasty, Seti I
TT325 Semen 18th Dynasty
TT326 Pashedu Foreman in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT327 Turobay Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT328 Hay Servant in the Place of Truth 20th Dynasty
TT329 Mose, Mose and Ipy A family tomb of Servants in the Place of Truth 20th Dynasty
TT330 Karo Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT335 Nakhtamun Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses IIMerneptah
TT336 Neferrenpet Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses IIMerneptah
TT337 Eskhonsu or Ken Sculptor in the Place of Truth[6] 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
TT338 May Draughtsman of Amun[6] Late 18th Dynasty
TT339 Huy or Pashedu Necropolis-stonemason, Servant in the Place of Truth[6] 20th Dynasty
TT340 Amenemhat Servant in the Place of Truth[6] Early-mid 18th Dynasty
TT354 Unknown[7] 18th Dynasty
TT355 Amenpahapy Servant in the Place of Truth[7] 20th Dynasty
TT356 Amenemwia Servant in the Place of Truth[7] 19th Dynasty
TT357 Tutihermaktuf Servant in the Place of Truth[7] 20th Dynasty
TT359 Inherkhau Foreman in the Place of Truth 20th Dynasty
TT360 Qeh Foreman in the Place of Truth[7] 19th Dynasty
TT361 Huy Carpenter in the Place of Truth[7] 19th Dynasty
Other designation
Designation Owner Title Period
DM 1066 Any Servant in the Place of Truth
DM 1066 Semen 18th Dynasty
DM 1099 Khunefer 19th Dynasty
DM 1102 Tjanefer 19th Dynasty
DM 1102 Qenherkhepeshef Royal Scribe, Scribe in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty
DM 1138 Nakhy Servant in the Place of Truth 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep IV
DM 1159 Hormose Foreman in the Place of Truth 20th Dynasty
DM 1159A Sennefer Servant in the Place of Truth Late 18th Dynasty
DM 1164 Amak Servant in the Place of Truth 19th Dynasty, Ramesses II
DM 1166 Unknown 18th Dynasty
DM 1200 Amenemhat Gatekeeper
DM 1200 Amenwa
DM 1200 Siwadjet Servant in the Place of Truth
DM 1352 Setau Servant in the Place of Truth 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep IV

See also[]

References[]

  1. Oakes 2006, p. 110.
  2. Bierbrier 1989, p. 125.
  3. Cremin 2007, p. 91.
  4. Strouhal 1992, p. 187.
  5. Romer 1984, p. 209.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 Baikie 1932.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 "Theban Tombs". Archived from the original on 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2007-04-29.

Bibliography[]

  • Baikie, J., 1932: Egyptian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. Mentheun & Co, London.
  • Bierbrier, M.L., 1989: The Tomb-builders of the Pharaohs. American University in Cairo Press.
  • Cremin, A., 2007: Archaeologica: the world's most significant sites and cultural treasures. Frances Lincoln.
  • Oaks, L., 2006: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pyramids Temples & Tombs of Ancient Egypt. Previously Published as Sacred Sites of Ancient Egypt. Southwater.
  • Romer, J., 1984: Ancient Lives Daily Life in Egypt of the Pharaohs. Hold, Rinehart and Winston.
  • Strouhal, E., 1992: Life of the ancient Egyptians. Editorial Galaxia.
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