Women at Deir el-Medîna

Authored by: Deborah Sweeney

Women in Antiquity

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138808362
eBook ISBN: 9781315621425
Adobe ISBN: 9781317219910


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The village of Deir el-Medîna, home to the expert craftsmen who excavated and decorated the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, is a major source for everyday life in Ancient Egypt during the New Kingdom (1550–1070 bce). The village was built in the desert, near the Valley of the Kings. Its remote situation and dry climate preserved thousands of documents and artifacts from every aspect of village life: houses, tombs, chapels, furniture, grave goods, pottery, work records, receipts, letters, and love poems. 1 These items provide considerable information about the tomb-builders and their families, although only a small proportion of the original material has survived. (Jac J. Janssen 2 calculates that about 10 percent of the journal of the necropolis texts survived, but other text types may be less well attested.)

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