I. (Irene) Morfini

  • PhD student
  • Egyptology

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2171
E-Mail: i.morfini.2@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, SMES Egyptologie

Fields of interest

New Kingdom, Deir el-Medina, Egyptian Archaeology, Theban Necropolis

PhD research

Necropolis journal: The Administration of an Egyptian Artisans’ Community
Supervisors: Olaf Kaper and Rob Demarée

In Egyptological literature, the written records on papyri and ostraca (inscribed stone splinters) concerning the daily activities of the workmen or artisans of Deir el-Medina are commonly labeled as “the journal” or “the Necropolis journal”. In these notes, written by the scribes in hieratic script, we find information about the gang of workmen employed in the construction of the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens throughout the Ramesside period (c. 1300-1100 BC). It includes the collective administration with presence or absence of individuals on specific days, their payments, private problems concerning individual crew members, internal perturbations (strikes, trials, etc.), visits by officials, and incursions by “foreigners”. These records, therefore, provide us with fundamental insights into the life of this unique community.

In my PhD study I intend to analyze several aspects arising from the main research question: “What was the practice of keeping the Necropolis Journal?”, i.e. did the administration of the community keep continuous daily records of their activities, and how did they go about this? These kind of notes have always been considered journals since their edition by Botti and Peet, but would they have been considered journals from an ancient Egyptian point of view? The need at that time was to run the artisans’ community. Was the journal the answer of the administration to this necessity? According to Egyptian standards, what would a journal actually look like? Also, the question if there was more than a single journal kept is worth investigating.


- PhD-researcher in Egyptology at Leiden University (LIAS) since 2012
- MA in Egyptology, Leiden University (2011)
- Degree (Laurea) in Classical Literature, specializing in Egyptology and History of the ancient near East (“Lettere Antiche, percorso Egittologico e del Vicino Oriente Antico”), Pisa University (2005)

Vice-Director of the Canarian-Tuscan Archaeological Mission in TT 109, Luxor
- Vice-President of the Asociacion Canaria de Egiptologia (Canary Association of Egyptology)
- Director of the Publishing House Ediciones ad Aegyptum

Fieldwork and research in Egypt
- Seasons 2007-2011: Epigraphist at the Archaeological and Epigraphic missions in the funerary complex of Harwa (TT37) and Akhimenru (TT404) with the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor (MAIL: Missione Archeologica Italiana a Luxor). Vice-Director during the season 2010-2011
- Season 2010: Field assistant at the Dutch (Leiden) Expedition to the New Kingdom Necropolis at Saqqara

2006: Summer School of Egyptology in Montepulciano, Italy

- 19-22 August 2010. Co-organizer of the “CIPEG meeting 2010” in Montepulciano, Italy
- 23-24 August 2008. Co-organizer of the Third International Colloquium of Egyptology in Montepulciano “Artists and Painting in Ancient Egypt”, Montepulciano, Italy

- Lecture: “La Reina del Valle del Desierto y la vida en Luxor” (The Queen of the Desert Valley and the life in Luxor). Presentation of the Graphic Novel in Havana, Cuba. September 1st 2012
- Lecture: “The tomb of Harwa”. Leiden University, 7th May 2009
- Presentations: teacher of epigraphy in the Summer School of Egyptology in Montepulciano (Siena) - Italy, August 2008


In preparation: Cooperation with the Museo de Bellas Artes de la Habana for the publication of the Catalogue of the Egyptian collection in this Museum

In press: “The wooden mummy label of the potter Psentermoutis”.
In press: “Necropolis journal of Deir el-Medina”.

Last Modified: 11-12-2015