Deir el-Medina is the ancient Egyptian village which housed the masons, painters and sculptors who created the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings in the XVIIIth to XXth dynasties of the New Kingdom.
Excavations of tombs in the village began at the same time as Howard Carter's better known discoveries in the nearby Valley of the Kings were taking place. This work has resulted in one of the most thoroughly documented accounts of community life in the ancient world that spans almost four hundred years. There is no comparable site in which the organisation, social interactions, working and living conditions of a community can be studied in such detail.
The Tomb of Sennedjem is one of the most impressive, with beautifully preserved coloured reliefs showing everyday activities such as ploughing the fields (pictured).