During your Luxor tour, there are many wondrous and interesting ancient sites to visit and many different attractions to sightsee. One of these is the ancient village of Qurna, also spelled Kurna, Gourna, or Gurna in some instances.
Qurna, also known as Old Qurna, is a village that was abandoned centuries ago, and it stands about 100 meters east of the Temple of Seti I. The latest records of the village having been completely abandoned was made by Edward William Lane in the year 1825. He made note that not a single inhabitant still lived there when he visited on an expedition.
About The Ancient Village of Qurna
The Ancient Village of Qurna still stands abandoned today and is a collection of stone homes and buildings left untouched for two hundred years. Originally, the inhabitants of Qurna were very poor and relied on tomb raiding to bring money into the village. The Department of Antiquities decided to relocate them to a new settlement, one that was better situated to allow subsistence. This was done to protect the nearby tombs from robbery. Even though the residents of Old Qurna strongly disagreed with being relocated, they eventually complied and moved to New Qurna.
The village of New Qurna has not stood the test of time so well. Due to poor construction choices, many of the buildings and houses that made up New Qurna have since fallen into disrepair and ruin, some worse off than the buildings in Old Qurna. In 2010, the site of New Qurna was added to the watch list of the world’s most endangered historical sites. Pair this with the nearby remains of the Sheikh ‘Adb el-Qurna, a collection of houses built around the nearby mountain grottoes, and you have a trio of ancient village ruins that is rife with rich history.
So, on your way through the attractions in and around the city of Luxor, don’t forget to visit Qurna and learn more about the tale of the people who once lived there. Their story is a sad one, but much can be learned from them also.