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One of the highlights of the west bank at Thebes is the workers village of Deir-el Medina. This amazing array of houses gives an amazing impression of what life was like for the people who excavated and decorated the tombs in the nearby Valley of the Kings.

The builders of the royal tombs were considered to be 'holders of secrets' and were kept apart from the general population. This was probably a wise precaution as the builders would have inside knowledge of the positions of the royal tombs, both those under construction and also those which were accidentally broken into during excavation work.

This chap is Inherka, and his is one of the finest tombs preserved in the Valley of the Artisans. Inherka was 'Deputy master of the two lands in truth square' during the reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV. He was responsible for the coordination of the teams working in the royal valley.  


 Another fine tomb belonged to the 'Servant in Truth Square' Sennedjen. Sennedjen's tomb was discovered in 1886 and was one of the few intact tombs ever discovered in Egypt. This 19th Dynasty tomb is considered by many to be the best in the Necropolis as it was untouched since antiquity and the decoration in the main chamber is substantially intact. This decoration includes the famous image of Anubis attending to the tomb owner's mummy.

 Sennedjen was a workman at Deir el Medina who lived at the beginning of the 19th Dynasty. This is what Morris Bierbrier says about his intact tomb in his little book "The Tomb-builders of the Pharaohs": "His mummy, coffins and funerary equipment were recovered as well as those of his wife, Iineferti, his sons Khons, his daughter-in-law Tameket, and a lady Isis who may have been a granddaughter or daughter-in-law, or both if she married her uncle. Coffins and funerary objects of other members of the family were also found. The tomb had evidently been used for two generations of family burials. The objects were all taken to Cairo, but were unfortunately dispersed before adequate documentation was compiled. Sennedjen and his wife who had lain side by side for millennia were rudely divorced. as were their son, Khons, and his wife Tameket. Iineferti and her son, Khons, were awarded to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where their coffins now rest. Their mummies, however, were transferred to the Peabody Museum in Cambridge, Mass. Tameket journeyed to the Berlin Museum, while her father-in-law, Sennedjen, remained behind in Cairo. Some of the minor finds were also kept in Cairo but others were scattered to Paris, Copenhagen and Moscow."

Gaston Maspero, himself, excavated the tomb. A Spaniard, Eduardo Toda, made the most detailed notes of the discovery although by modern standards these were woefully inadequate.