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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


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 280h, of which:

  • 7 sessions and preparation: 150 h;

  • oral presentation: 30 h;

  • written paper: 100 h.

Assessment method

  • oral presentation 20%

  • written paper 80%



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