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Deir El Medina

Deir El-Medina

During the 18th to 20th Dynasties of the New Kingdom of Egypt (ca. 1550–1080 BCE), Deir el-Medina, or Daiyr el-Madinah, was an ancient Egyptian workmen’s hamlet that was home to the artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Set maat “The Place of Truth” was the settlement’s original name and the workers who resided there were known as “Servants in the Place of Truth.” The temple of Hathor was transformed into a church during the Christian era, giving it the Egyptian Arabic name Deir el-Medina (“town monastery”).

While the world’s attention was focused on Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, a team led by Bernard Bruyère began excavating the site. This research has resulted in one of the most comprehensive descriptions of communal life in the ancient world, spanning over 400 years. There is no other site that allows you to study a community’s organization, social relationships, working, and living circumstances in such depth.

Tomb of Senedjem

On the west bank of the Nile, across the river from modern-day Luxor, the site is located. The town is set in a tiny natural amphitheater, with the Valley of the Kings to the north, funerary temples to the east and south-east, and the Valley of the Queens to the west all within easy walking distance. Because of the delicate nature of the work done in the tombs, the settlement may have been established away from the rest of the community in order to maintain concealment.

The tombs’ wall murals, which differ in style from those that cover the kings’ tombs and are a colorful picture of ordinary Egyptian life, are definitely worth a visit.

Tomb of Senedjem

The Tomb of Sennedjem, a 19th-dynasty artist, is a must-see. It features a domed burial chamber with religious reliefs and paintings, including a beautiful depiction of a funeral supper. The tomb’s contents, found in 1886, are presently on exhibit in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

After seeing the tombs, go up the cliff behind them to Deir el-temple, Medina’s which lies atop the ruins of the workmen’s hamlet. The tiny temple, which dates from the Ptolemaic dynasty and is devoted to the deity Hathor, is a considerably newer addition to the site.

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June 12, 2024

Apr 2012 • Friends

We had the MOST amazing layover tour with Egypt Fun Tours. Hanni was amazing and we loved every moment. Pyramids, authentic food and Islamic Cairo – amazing!

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Feb 2013 • Solo

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Egypt Fun Tours - Valley of Whales Day Trip - AMAZING EXPERIENCE

June 12, 2024

Jan 2013 • Family

My family and I were visiting Egypt for only 5 days, so we contact Egypt Fun Tours to see what they could suggest we can do for one day. Fortunately, after looking at their website, they had a category with EXACTLY what we needed – Cairo Day Tours! Given that this was our fourth visit to Cairo, and definitely NOT our first experience touring with EFT, Hani and Mohammad immediately came up with a plan for us, where we would visit a new place and experience the most incredible views; (we’ve already seen the pyramids, museum, citadel, etc). Our trip was to the Valley of the Whales! I won’t give away too much information, but it required an approximately three hour van ride into the open desert (TOTALLY different from the desert in Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, etc) and when we got there, the view was breathtaking! We were entertained by Hani’s Egyptian History trivia, as well as the adventurous van ride for several kilometers through the sand! We also had the opportunity to pass through the Fayyoum Oasis and to visit the Waterfalls all in one trip! Almost forgot to mention the DELICIOUS lunch with Bedouins! This is not a very common trip among tourists, but it definitely should be! If you have seen all of Egypt’s “main” attractions, you haven’t seen everything yet! Bring your camera and your sneakers and enjoy a wonderful day at the Valley of the Whales and all nearby attractions! As if our day wasn’t incredible enough, Hani and Mohammad took us to Old Cairo at night to a gorgeous coffee shop – Oum Kolsoum – to drink tea and coffee and then delivered us back to our hotel. Thank you so much Egypt Fun Tours for another memorable experience! See you soon inshallah!

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