Egypt under Ramses III, c1155BC: First recorded workers strike

by , under Blog

This is one other thing they don’t teach us in history classes at school. The first recorded workers’ strike in history happened in Ancient Egypt…

A contemporary document recounting the first ever recorded labor strike, which occurred in Deir el Medina, Ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramses III when workers did not receive their rations.
The stoppage occurred in the 12th century BC, on the 21st day of the second month in the 29th year of the reign of the pharaoh Ramses III, while Ramses was fighting a series of wars and engaging in an extensive building campaign.
The strikers were hereditary craftsmen who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs, the vast complexes that to this day draw visitors from all over the world to the Valley of the Kings.
This papyrus was written by the scribe Amennakhte at Deir el Medina. It describes the workers’ struggle, and the corruption which had spread throughout the administration.

  1. amr

    dear hossam
    yes, i read about this historic event before, i think it is our duty as well as our right as egyptians to teach such stories to our children,it may change the stereotype that many people are repeating that the egyptian people are submissive and negative.
    one more thing : the comparison between the ancient pharophs and our “pharoph” is quite hilarious :)
    anyway,good job, keep up the good work
    amr
    p.s: why dont you pass by at my blog? you most welcomed :)

  2. Hossam el-Hamalawy

    Amr you are totally right!
    It’s our duty to teach our children these events, as well as others. I’m sick of this Egyptians-have-always-been-apathetic argument. It’s not true. We need to re-write our history “from below”
    Good job with your blog ya ostazi..

  3. Sarah

    hey, is there anymoe information about this? i’m quite interested and would love to learn more.