PLACES IN THE ANCIENT WORLD: Deir El-Medina (Egypt)
DEIRel-Medina is the modern Arabic name for the worker’s village (now an archaeological site) which was home to the artisans and craftsmen of Thebes who built and decorated the royal tombs in the nearby Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. The ancient inhabitants called the village Pa Demi (“the village”) but it was referred to in official correspondence as Set-Ma’at (“The Place of Truth”) because the workers there were thought to be inspired by the gods in creating the eternal homes of the deceased kings and their families.
Early in the Christian era the village, then deserted, was occupied by monks who took over the Temple of Hathor for use as a cloister. The temple was referred to as Deir el-Medina (“Monastery of the Town”) and this name finally came to be applied to the entire site.