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Documentary Texts from Deir el-Medina and their social and cultural setting


Admission requirements

Accessible for students admitted to Research MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations, track Egyptology, and proficient in Late Egyptian and hieratic.


Intensive study of non-literary text sources and archaeological remains from the Deir el-Medina site (from circa 1550 to 1070 BC, the settlement of the workmen that constructed the royal tombs), together with discipline-relevant literature relating to these textual and archaeological sources. The treatment of a theme (social, economic, juridic or administrative) in the literature and the relevant hieratic text sources on papyri and ostraca will be subjected to critical evaluation. The electronic Deir el-Medina Database provides support in this. Each student will concentrate on a partial aspect of the central subject, and provides an oral and written report of literature and source research.

Course objectives

  • Acquiring experience with primary source material, publications and research tools related to Deir el-Medina, mainly to its New Kingdom documentary sources

  • Being able to identify the primary source material relevant to one’s research

  • Being able to conduct a small-scale individual research project, and to present its results, on a specialist level


Semester 1, block 1-2, in consultation with teacher

Mode of instruction

  • Common sessions: discussion of relevant literature and primary sources

  • Individual research of these

  • Oral presentation and discussion of individual research

  • Written paper (appr. 10,000 words excluding figures, tables, transcriptions etc.)

Course load

Course load 280 hours, of which:

  • 7 sessions and preparation: 150 h;

  • oral presentation: 30 h;

  • written paper: 100 h.

Assessment method

  • oral presentation 20%

  • written paper 80%


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Should the final result be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consulation with the teacher. There is no resit for the oral presentation.

Exam review

Students will be invited to discuss the paper and oral presentation individually with the teacher, as soon as the results have been published.



Reading list

To be announced during the seminar.


Students are obliged to register through uSis.

Contact information

Dr B.J.J. Haring
Matthias de Vrieshof 4, room 205A
P.O. Box 9515
Nl-2300 RA Leiden
+ 31 71 527 4170