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Deir el-Medina Seminar


Admission requirements

Regular MA admission; sufficient knowledge of Late Egyptian and New Kingdom Hieratic (if in doubt, contact the instructor). This course has a minimum number of students of four.


Study of the documents from the workmen’s community of Deir el-Medina.

Course objectives

Students will have insight in the history and organization of the village, and they will be able to carry out research on the basis of the preserved documentation. The documentary texts from the village will be studied with the help of the Deir el-Medina Database, which is housed and maintained at Leiden University.


The first three weeks will be devoted to introducing the seminar, and these will be followed by four bi-weekly meetings during which specific topics will be discussed. Class schedule to be fixed in consultation.
Deadline for handing in paper: 17/8.

Mode of instruction

Seminar, self-study and written assignments.

Course Load

attending seminars: 14 hours
preparing for seminars and writing assignments: 126 hours
Total 140 hours

Assessment method

written assignments during the course (30%) and paper at the end (70%).



Reading list

  • G. Andreu (ed.), Deir el-Médineh: Les artisans de pharaon, Paris 2002, pp. 15-69.

  • M.L. Bierbrier, The tomb builders of the Pharaohs, London 1982.

  • D. Valbelle, ‘Deir el-Medineh’, in Lexikon der Ägyptologie I, Wiesbaden 1975, kol. 1028-1034.

  • D. Valbelle, Les ouvriers de la tombe. Deir el-Médineh à l‘époque ramesside, Cairo 1985, pp. 87-157.


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.


Instructor via e-mail