Deir el-Medina

Liverpool Egyptology Seminar: 'Deir el-Medina in the 18th Dynasty: The administration and organisation of a crew of royal necropolis workmen' (Dr. Daniel Soliman, British Museum / University of Copenhagen)

5:00pm - 6:00pm / Thursday 15th November 2018 / Venue: Seminar Room 10, Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Egyptology Seminar Series
  • Admission: Free. All welcome.
  • Add this event to my calendar

    When you click on "Add this event to my calendar" your browser will download an ics file.

    Microsoft Outlook: Download the file, then you may be able to click on "Save & Close" to save it to your calendar. If that doesn't work go into Outlook, click on the File tab, then on Open, then Import. Select "Import an iCalendar (.ic or vCalendar file (.vcs)" then click on Next. Find the .ics file and click on OK.

    Google Calendar: download the file, then go into your calendar. On the right where it says "Other calendars" click on the arrow icon and then click on Import calendar. Click on Browse and select the .ics file, then click on Import.

    Apple Calendar: download the file, then you can either drag it to Calendar or import the file by going to File > Import > Import and choosing the .ics file.

As opposed to the well-known Ramesside gang of royal necropolis workmen, the activities of the 18th Dynasty crew housed at Deir el-Medina are poorly attested. Fortunately, some administration of the 18th Dynasty work survives in the form of ostraca inscribed with non-textual identity marks. This talk discusses the functional and social context of these documents. Although the precise meaning of the ostraca with identity marks is often elusive because of their implicit nature, the documents provide valuable insights into the organisation of the crew of workmen, the administration of work, the size of the crew, as well as the absence of a local scribal tradition.

In order to foster discussion and questions from the audience, we have asked the speaker to recommend some preliminary readings to set up the research background for the talk.

Haring, B.J.J., “Workmen’s Marks and the Early History of the Theban Necropolis”, in J. Toivari-Viitala, T. Vatiainen, S. Uvanto (eds.), Deir el-Medina Studies: Helsinki June 24‒26, 2009. Proceedings, FESOP, Helsinki, 2014, pp. 87–100.

Soliman, D., “Workmen’s Marks in Pre-Amarna Tombs at Deir el-Medina” in: J. Budka, F. Kammerzell, S. Rzepka (eds.), Non-Textual Marking Systems in Ancient Egypt (and Elsewhere), LingAeg SM 16, Widmaier Verlag, Hamburg, 2015, 109–132.

Unfortunately, the holdings of the SJ Library do not cover this material. To obtain a copy of the recommended readings email: or check