Zem, Tej, their families and co-workers were lucky enough to inhabit a relatively small piece of land beside where they diligently worked (or not). This enabled them to be more or less self-sufficient. The village was on the outskirts of what the locals called The Valley of the Kings, on the West bank of The Nile – the lifeblood of ancient Egypt.
The Valley of The Kings was the last resting place of the physical remains of all the Kings of Egypt as far back as anyone could remember.
The latest pharaoh’s dad had decided to house a village of skilled, dedicated and above all trustworthy artisans to permanently cater for the final journey of the man/god who ruled his earthly subjects and guided them towards spiritual fulfilment, and all that sort of stuff.
The compact village itself housed 82 of pharaoh’s finest artisans, and their families. 30 ancillary staff fed, cleaned and cared for them.
3 guards kept the peace. The guards were named little H, H, and big H. Son, father and grandfather who had the prestige of keeping law and order in the village for literally generations. This particular family was unique. There had always been a H in the job and there always will be.
The scribes, draughtsmen, sculptors, wood-carvers, plasterers, painters, masons and stucco-carvers, to name but a few, worked on Royal sites throughout the kingdom. The majority though, were charged with bringing to life pharaoh’s last resting place just outside The Valley of The Kings.
Zem was the charge hand, for want of a better term. He supervised all the work that was to take place regarding royal monuments, royal buildings and royal artifacts.
His home was in the center of the village which he shared with his wife, twin sons, 2 daughters and dog. Tej was his deputy and best friend, who lived opposite him.
Even though their particular chosen village had a far easier life than the majority of pharaoh’s subjects, they couldn’t help but unwittingly abuse the privileges and trust placed in them by authority.