The Eastern Workers village at Amarna in Egypt (c. 1349-1332 BCE) was a walled settlement located in the North-East side of the city and intended for the artisans who worked on the rock-cut tombs and temples not far away. Built during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten for a population of about 300 people, it shows a very well planned quarter of all similar houses.
The 70 by 70 meters-long brick wall was oriented close to the cardinal points and enclosed 72 houses ordered in rows along the streets running on the north-south axis. The complex is divided into two sides by another wall and only one narrow entrance allows the access to the village.
The row houses have all roughly the same size: they measure 5 meters by 10 in the ground floor and are tripartite in the plan. The houses are opened on a street on both sides except for the external rows which are directly placed on the external wall on a side.
In each house, a central space, almost squared, acts as living room while the front and back areas are further subdivided into two spaces each. The three sections which constitute the houses have different heights and not all of them were covered by a roof. On the southeast corner of the settlement lies a larger house, probably belonging to a supervisor or an official.
The city was abandoned after the death of Pharaoh Akhenaten and became an archaeological site excavated since 1921.
Barry J. Kemp, “The Amarna Workmen’s Village in Retrospect“, in The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology Vol. 73 (1987), pp. 21-50.
Model of the settlement by Whetton and Grosch.
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