Deir el-Medina, Luxor

Situated in the ancient environs of Luxor, you can certainly expect thrills and a trip through a past so ancient you’ll be surprised how well it’s been preserved to date. The Deir el-Medina is the name given to a location set on Luxor’s West Bank. The Valley of the Kings stands North from here. What this zone is famous for is its collection of tombs and houses that once belonged to servants, workers and craftsmen whose work in the Valley of the Kings and also the Valley of the Queens hasn’t gone forgotten.

Deir el-Medina, Luxor

Deir el-Medina, Luxor

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Deir el-Medina History & Details

It takes after a Ptolemaic temple—dedicated to Hathor and Maat—sitting to the north of the village of Deir el-Medina. ‘Deir’ means ‘monastery’ in Arabic and so the meaning ‘monastery of the city’ came to be appended to Deir Al Medina.

The necropolis in which the workers were interred bursts with colors in many individual sections as well as hosting small pyramids as honorary testaments to the foremen and architects who were once part of the crew.

Some of the more infamous tombs here in Deir el-Medina are discussed below.

Deir el-Medina Tombs

The tomb of Sennedjem is the most beautiful of them all, standing apart as an ace attraction despite being the resting place of a servant who breathed life during the 18th dynasty. When it was discovered in 1886, they found the yellow painted walls still in amazing condition and a series of wall paintings depicting the owner and his wife carrying out common but important rituals and beliefs.

Mummy mask of Khonsu from tomb of Sennedjem

Mummy mask of Khonsu from tomb of Sennedjem

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The tomb of Pashedu was only recently open for public viewing. Also belonging to a servant who lived in the 18th dynasty, the colorful decorations you’ll find in here are so sensational and captivating you might even take notes to have a few influences kiss your own home’s décor. Even in here you’ll see artwork depicting the owner keeping busy performing everyday activities considered important and customary at the time.

The tomb of Inherkau is next, belonging to a foreman who worked on both Valley Tomb projects. The reliefs in this tomb are a stunner. They show off surprising detail that had gone into their making, and decorations that put some other tombs hereabouts to shame.

Granted, the Valley of the Kings and the one of the Nobles is far better in comparison to what Deir el-Medina has going for it, but this zone doesn’t fail to shock you with beauty, detail and a passionate sense of preserving personal stories for posterity.

Only a few people are allowed inside at a time. Be sure to take sunscreen and dress for a hot Egyptian clime. The tombs can get a bit stuffy, but the experience is otherwise brilliant and eye-opening as a simple workers village like Deir el-Medina will prove to you.

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