DeclineVillage of the Artisans - The Valleys - The Places
The Village as with most inhabited communities suffered from its own form of lawlessness. As most, if not all, of the community was literate they wrote the details of these issues down.
Egyptologists have the details of a Dispute over a Worker’s Hut:
Wennofer alleges that he has rights to inherit his father’s Workers Hut which is being used by another Workman at the time. The occupying Workman also claimed rights to it. To settle the matter, they took it to the Chief Foreman, Khonsu and his Deputy. The decision was that Wennofer was in the right, but he should compensate the other Workman to remove his occupancy while Wennofer was in residence. This seems to have been made up of some silver items; a wooden staff and grain.
Also, the allegations against a Worker called Paneb:
- He had physical relations with the Lady Tuy while she was the wife of the Workman Kenna
- He had physical relations with the Lady Hel while she was the wife of the Workman Pendua
- He had physical relations with another Lady Hel while she was the wife of the Workman Hesysunebef, and their daughter, Webkhet; who was also seduced by Paneb’s son
These serious allegations were dealt with internally within the community by the higher ranks within the Worker community. However, these matters increased with the later and later payments of “salary” from the Government. This then led to the decline of the settlement as a whole as the Worker’s decided to recompense themselves from the Tombs they had worked so hard to finish.
By 1100BC looting was bringing the Villagers more riches with little deterrent as the central Government was slowly collapsing. The bureaucracy that was essential for goods to complete the supply line to the Village dispersed. By 1069BC the Villagers abandoned their Village at Deir el Medina and took up sanctuary in Medinet Habu.
The Village was all but deserted until the Coptic Christians arrived and established a Monastery in the 4th Century.