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Gallery 19: Case 15

Carving, Painting and Writing

Large numbers of painted and written fragments of limestone have been found at Deir-el-Medina, the settlement used by the craftsmen working on the tombs of the Valley of the Kings near Thebes. The inscriptions provide a wealth of information about the lives and working practices of these people. Some of the pictorial fragments show stories from animal fables and other sketches.

The unfinished stone reliefs and pieces of sculpture in the round represent sculptors' trial pieces or workshop models. Some unfinished pieces are also displayed, along with tools and waste products from the manufacture of stone vessels.

Keeping written records was an important part of all Egyptian administrative life, carried out by officials whom we now call 'scribes'. These were respected people who occupied an important place in the administrative hierarchy. Basic writing equipment consisted of a wooden palette holding reed pens and cakes of ink. The ibis and the baboon were sacred to Thoth, the patron god of scribes.

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