The Valley of Kings:How Ancient Egyptians Lived and Worked…we’ll look at some fascinating facts about the people who created these tombs and what we know about their ancient lives.
If you’re not an archaeologist, you might think it’s improbable that we’ll ever learn anything about these people who lived thousands of years ago. On the contrary, we’ve learned a lot about these individuals, their routines, and how they worked thanks to the trash they left behind.
The life in The Valley of Kings
- Their trash taught us about their lives and jobs.
The men who erected the tombs in the Valley of Kings lived in a settlement named Deir el-Medina, where they worked in a specific system . They divided work and resources using record keeping, which they carefully and precisely controlled.
Deir el-Medina people had a rubbish hole where they disposed of papers and artwork engraved on limestone and ceramics. The vast, deep hole was a treasure trove, revealing information on the lifestyle of these ancient people
Archaeologists learnt from these discoveries that throughout the workweek, which was 10 days long back then, the men who worked on the tombs did not go home at night. They remained in huts on a ridge above the Valley of Kings since the road back to the settlement was far too dangerous to take after dark.
Furthermore, throughout the winter, there was often only 10 hours of daylight during the day. It was therefore out of the question to trek back to their village for a mid-day rest. The round-trip hike took an hour and a half, necessitating their stay in these cottages.
We also learnt through their garbage that the team of laborers was made up of between 40 and 120 guys and was divided into two sections, the “left side” and the “right side.” As you might expect, this meant that the men were permanently allocated to work on one side of the tomb — a fascinating detail that bears more parallels to the industrial revolution’s production lines, when workers were assigned to a single duty.
- Aside from supervision, the Foreman was responsible for a variety of tasks.
The job of foreman in ancient Egypt’s Valley of Kings was frequently hereditary. They were picked from among existing tomb employees and were paid more than lower-ranking laborers.
Aside from overseeing tomb construction, their additional responsibilities included representing the workforce in dealings with higher authorities, dealing with strikes over unpaid salaries (which they generally distributed), and resolving legal issues among the crew by taking oaths or serving as a witness.
- Artists in Egypt did not sign their work.
Artists were not appreciated in ancient Egypt in the same manner that they are now. Artists, like tomb builders, would operate in assembly lines, and the majority of the artwork that adorned the Valley of Kings was credited to the person who commissioned the work, not the artist.
The majority of artists were high-ranking laborers or artists’ sons who worked with sculptors to accomplish specific ideas. Sculptors would carve the walls in accordance with the artists’ designs. After the carvings were finished, the painters would return and paint the carved surface one color at a time.
- Many Tombs in the Valley of the Kings Were Never Completed.
Many pharaohs died before their tombs could be completed. Because many tombs were abandoned in various stages of development.
When one pharaoh died and another took his place on the throne, the workers rejoiced. Royal tombs were created to delight the pharaohs while they were still living, but after they died, the building was abandoned and work on the new pharaoh’s tomb began.