Deir el-Medina is not an important site to study when looking at Egyptian culture, architecture and workforce as it only represents a small part of Egyptian society and a specialised one at that. Deir el-Medina was a city that was built for the sole purpose of building tombs for the people of the main Egyptian cities. For this reason it is an important site to study when looking at Egyptian burial practices. It is, however useful when looking at Egyptian culture, architecture and workforce as Deir el-Medina did have a certain degree of contact with the rest of Egypt, namely Thebes. Deir el-Medina is different from the other Egyptian cities for a number of reasons. For one, it was far from the Nile or any other water source. This meant that water had to be imported from Thebes. Deir el-Medina also had a higher standard of living compared to other cities of similar size. This was due to the number of wealthy Egyptian citizens who came through Deir el-Medina organising their tombs. Deir el-Medina was furthermore different to the rest of Egypt as it appears that many women were literate and sent letters to other citizens of Deir el-Medina although they may have dictated their notes to literate men. Citizens of Deir el-Medina often had a higher social status than the average worker in other Egyptian cities. This was due to the skills required to work in the Valley of the Kings. The people of Deir el-Medina also enjoyed the benefits of having their food brought to them as opposed to having to harvest it themselves as the majority of Egyptians did. Other sources show that Deir el-Medina was similar in some ways to the rest of Egypt. Antiquity 1 Preliminary Course shows that the citizens of Deir el-Medina used trade the same way as the citizens of the rest of Egypt did. The only difference between the two was that the citizens of Deir el-Medina had their skills as craftspersons, stonemasons and priests to offer in exchange for goods....
Bibliography: Hurley, T. Medcalf, P. Rolph, J (2000). Antiquity 1, Second Edition, Preliminary Course. Oxford, Singapore.
Lesko, L. H. (1994) Pharaoh 's Worker: The Villagers of Deir el-Medina, Cornwell University Press, USA.
Marie Parsons, [internet], firstname.lastname@example.org
Available from: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/medina.htm
Robins, G. (1993) Women in Ancient Egypt, British Museum Press, London.
Sean O 'Connor
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