Thebes - Deir el-Medina

Village of Deir el Medinah

Village of Deir el-Medina

Deir el-Medina is a New Kingdom workmen’s village with remains dating principally to Dynasties 19 and 20. The men who constructed the tombs in the Valley of the Kings lived in this village with their families. It is situated between the high western mountain (from which this photograph was taken) and the hill of Qurnet Murai (top right). The ruins of a Ptolemaic temple occupy the left/center of the picture. The workmen constructed rock tombs for their families in the side of the western mountain overlooking their village.

In this village the workmen lived in homes whose stone foundations still remain (middle right). From here, the workmen followed a trail north to the top of the western mountain and down into the Valley of the Kings to construct and decorate the tomb of the reigning pharaoh.

Deir el Medinah Street

Stone House Foundations at Deir el-Medina

These stone foundations (Dynasties 19 and 20) in Deir el-Medina demonstrate the limited size and close proximity of quarters available to the workmen and their families. Most of the homes had shared walls, and the "streets" (on the far left) were seldom over one yard wide. Although the rooms seen here are quite small, remember that most all Egyptian houses (ancient as well as modern) had two stories with a usable flat rooftop. The mudbrick walls of a Ptolemaic temple are visible in the upper right.