Architect : n/a
Locality : Luxor
Country : Egypt
Building style :
Project on the map (green arrow)
“…Deir el Medina is among the most thoroughly documented and best-known communities from the ancient world. In this village – located west of modern Luxor on the left (west) bank of the Nile about half a mile beyond the cultivated land bordering the river, and between the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of Queens – lived a number of the civil servants, stonecutters, and draftsmen/artists who prepared the tombs of their queens and kings. The village, (which) occupied the southern part of the Theban necropolis…conforming in general shape to the narrow valley (behind Gurnet Murai hill) in which it was situated, could not have provided a pleasant environment...The site had no trees, and all water had to be carried in from at least half a mile away. Nevertheless, these workmen and their families left a record of village life at Deir el Medina that spans almost four hundred years and parallels much of the history of the Egyptian New Kingdom or Empire. The surviving records shed little light on the major events of the time, however. Rather, they inform us about everyday life in ancient Egypt.” As an example of everyday life, Joris F. Borghouts shows us the magical practices of the villagers. He states that: “Defensive magic is the sort best represented in the Deir el Medina texts. Defense against what? In order of frequency, dangerous animals, demons, and dead persons. The tendency to personify those ailments whose causes were difficult to identify (giving such an elusive ailment a name was the first effort to cope with it) led to their demonization. Spells against headaches, for example, developed a mythology of their own.”
Pharaoh’s workers: The villagers of Deir el Medina, Leonard H. Lesko (editor), Cornell University Press, 1994, pp. 2, 121.