Early travellers to
Deir el-Medina
The page was last modified on June 5th 2010.










































Bierbrier further states that "Other travellers in the 18th century have left only brief accounts"
(meaning of visiting Thebes) "and do not mention Deir el-Medina".

An early travel book by Charles Perry entitled 'A view of the Levant, particularly of Constantinople,
Syria, Egypt, and Greece: In which their antiquities, government, politics, maxims, manners, and
customs (with many other circumstances and contingencies) are attempted to be described and
treated on', was published in London 1743. Perry visited Thebes (Karnak and Luxor temples and also
the West bank) and this is the passage (p. 350) that in my opinion describes his visit to
Deir el-Medina:

"Setting out again the next Morning early, we first bent our Course directly to the Mountain; and
passing over the Skirts of one Mountain, that stands apart from, and before the great Mountain, we
descended into a Vale, behind it, where we found another beautiful Temple, though small. This
likewise contains several sumptuous Pillars, and is embellise'd with Hieroglyphics, and fine Figures in
Basso Relievo. But as this exhibits nothing more than what we have already mentioned the Like, or at
least the Equal of, so we will spend no more Time in speaking of it, than we did in viewing of it. From
hence we passed over the other Skirt of the Mountain, and so came into the Plain again ; and after
we had marched about 20 Minutes towards the River, we came to another Temple, which is
inexpressibly grand and magnificent.
This Temple is situate at about a Mile Distance from the Two Colossal Statues, to the North of
them. Its grand Portal is to the Eastward. This Fabric  (at least what remains of it) is not above 50
Paces broad, and about 200 long....."











In my view Charles Perry was among the early 18th century travellers who not only visited the
temple at Deir el-Medina, but also described the visit in his travel writing.  
Back to top
Settlement
Temples
Chapels
Tombs
Rock shrine
Huts
Sources:
1. Bierbrier, Morris : The tomb-builders of the pharaohs
Cairo : The American University in Cairo Press, 1982.
2. Pococke, Richard, 1704-1765 : A description of the East : and some other countries.
London :  Printed for the author, 1743-1745.
3. Perry, Charles,1698-1780 : A view of the Levant, particularly of Constantinople,
Syria, Egypt, and Greece : In which their antiquities, government, politics, maxims,
manners, and customs (with many other circumstances and contingencies) are attempted
to be described and treated on : in four parts
London : Printed for T. Woodward, between the Temple Gates in Fleet-Street, and C.
Davis, near Middle-Row, in Holborn, printers to the Royal Society; and J. Shuckburgh,
at the Sun, near the Temple Gate, in Fleet Street, 1743.
Counter
In the literature I have read through, an English
traveller, who visited Deir el-Medina as early as
the beginning of the 18th century, is mentioned on
p. 125 in Bierbrier's 'The tomb-builders of the
Pharaohs'. Bierbrier lists Richard Pococke as
visiting Thebes in January 1738, but claims he did
not describe the valley of Deir el-Medina but
provided a plan of a Ptolemaic temple. I saw the
original by Pococke and he not only  provides the
plan of the Deir el-Medina temple, but also
describes it, proving he did visit the valley:
After visiting Memnon statues...."We went
in between the hills to the north east, and
came to the temple in the 35th plate,
which had been a convent: There are no
hieroglyphics on the outside; the cornices
over the doors are fluted, and adorned
with the winged globe; the capitals of the
pillars are much of the same sort as those
of Assouan, in the plate of capitals. After
I had viewed all these things, I returned
to the river."
A View of Thebes on the West of the
Nile as published by Richard Pococke.

H marks the temple of Deir el-Medina
N, M Colossi of Memnon
K Medinet Habu
R Gurnet Mura'i
D Ramesseum