Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Deir el-Medina (Development)
- Author(s): Toivari-Viitala, Jaana
- et al.
The site of Deir el-Medina, located in a desert valley on the west bank of Luxor, was conceived as sacred ground. Tombs were built there as early as the Middle Kingdom and a village settlement housing the royal-tomb builders was founded on the site in the early New Kingdom. The workmen’s village gradually became surrounded by chapels and temples. Although the settlement was abandoned by the end of the New Kingdom, the site was still used for burials and for religious devotion. During the Ptolemaic Period a sandstone temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor was built there. A small chapel was added to it in Roman times. The Copts later converted the temple into a church and a monastery, to which the Arabic name of the site refers.