Tom Van Eynde: Thebes Photographic Project

Tombs and Village of Sheikh abd el-Qurna, Western Thebes. From Dynasty XI through the Ptolemaic Period, the Egyptians cut their tombs into the hillside-proper of Gebel Sheikh abd el-Gurna. This photo depicts two adjoining tombs of the New Kingdom surrounded by houses of the modern village. The tombs of the Qurna necroplis became derelict by the early Christian era, and many were reused as monasteries and monks' cells. Thereafter, about 600 years ago, bedouin of the Libyan desert moved into the abandoned tombs, ultimately building houses and establishing a community that has proven disastrous to the survival of the tombs.

Because of the deleterious impact of the village upon the stability and preservation of the tombs (due to theft, erosion, building, and vandalism), the Egyptian government has recently embarked on the relocation of the village's residents to a new community several kilometers to the north (below el-Tarif) followed by the demolition of the old village. (Caption - Peter Piccione)

All the photographs were made with a Fujica G617 Panorama Camera. The film is TriX. The prints are made on llford Mulitgrade Fiber base paper. The original prints are 7"x22" on 10"x24" paper.