EGYPTIAN MUSEUM, Deir El-Medina

Audio File length: 2.30
Author: STEFANO ZUFFI E DAVIDE TORTORELLA
English / USA Language: English / USA

Even today we are awestruck by the huge buildings that the ancient Egyptians were able to build without the help of current technology, like the pyramids or temple complexes. The credit, as you know, belongs to the work organization that involved thousands of people who for many years lived in the vicinity of the monuments to be built. The Egyptian Museum helps you understand how one of these communities worked thanks to the reconstruction of the village Deir el-Medina, which was formed specifically to house those working on a royal necropolis along with their families.

In this extraordinary exhibition, you get the rare opportunity to explore all the aspects of Egyptian society's culture and daily life.

The huge amount of material that was found at Deir el-Medina has been divided into sections relating to each of the aspects of an Egyptian worker of the time's existence: both public and private life in the village, the village's necropolis, and its local funerary cults, and above all the work at the royal necropolis, which shows you how the crafts were taught and how skilled craftsmen were trained.

At the end of the hall you can see the reconstruction of the Funeral Chapel of the craftsman Maia and his wife Tamit: the chapel was discovered in the necropolis of Deir el-Medina during Ernesto Schiaparelli's archaeological mission. In addition to the exceptional spectacle of its paintings, the chapel demonstrated that the Egyptians made walls with bricks of fresh mud and straw covered with plaster - just think how well these perishable materials resisted over time! Tempera paint was applied dry; the colors were obtained from mineral and vegetable products (ocher for red and yellow, charcoal for black, calcium carbonate for white, malachite for blue and green), then mixed with water and a binder, acacia gum.

The chapel is now housed within a big glass display that lets you see the internal paintings very well, which are now visible from each side.

 

FUN FACT: women had a managerial role in the village of Deir el-Medina. They made all the decisions and could read and write, as you can see from the written messages they would send to their husbands who were working in the Valley of the Kings.

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