last update: 23.12.2006

Historical Data

Name Title   Origin Tomb
(Chief)-Steward (jmj-ra pr wr),
Director of Building, Veteran of the King
  ? TT73
name destroyed
(P&M, I, 143)
Wife: Amenemopet        
Father: &tj*        
Mother: unknown        
none known        
none known        
P&M = Porter und Moss; *Kampp

(Chief)-Steward (jmj-ra pr wr) Amenhotep is known by two gaffiti on the island of SehÍl and by a tomb in the Theban Necropolis,TT73. The closed tomb is located on the same small hill called  "Sheikh Abd el-Qurna" where we also find the monuments of Senenmut, TT71, and Senimen, TT252. It is about 15 m away from TT71. The graffiti as well as the tomb have been known for a long time, but their assignment to Amenhotep was not certain in any case because his name had been destroyed.

Habachi (1957) has reinvestigated the graffiti at SehÍl and assigned them to Amenhotep. The first graffito, numbered as No. 140 by de Morgan, about 30 cm high and 85 cm broad, refers to his responsibility for the work on two obelisks. As shown by the sketch above, all signs had been erased except for "nsw" in the first line, the figures of the two obelisks in the second line, and those for the triad of the Cataract region, Chum, Satis, and Anukis, in the third line. All other signs were chiseled out, but in such way as to leave them still recognizable. 
The inscription reads (due to Habachi, from right to left):

"The real confidant of the king, his beloved (row 1),
the director of the works on the two big obelisks (row 2),
the chief priest of Chum, Satus, and Anukis, Amenhotep (row 3)."

The fact that the signs were wholly erased except for the names of the deities and the words describing somewhat sacred, excludes the idea that this was done during the reign of Akhenaton. The way how the erasure was done tally more with the procedure(s) against Hatshepsut and and those who had served her devotedly.

Also the owner of tomb TT73 in the Theban Necropolis was concerned with the work on two bog obelisks and he lived under Hatshepsut. However, nowhere in the tomb there is a name of the owner, but the inscriptions were "treated" in the same manner as the aforementioned graffito at Aswan - wherever the name of the owner or that of the king occurred they were mutilated. 

Above the floor plan of tomb TT73, modified according to Porter&Moss, Vol. I. In the pillared transversal hall some parts of the wall decoration have survived at positions A to C.
The tomb had a leveled courtyard which is today filled up with rubble on its left side . Obviously, no boundary had been built on its front-side. It is not known whether burial shafts had been built in the courtyard.
The passage branching off into the rock is either filled with rubble or was never completed. However, obviously no attempt was made to clear the passage.

At position A three scenes show offerings, the deceased and family fowling and fishing, etc..
At position B the deceased was shown with attendants and gifts (New Year gifts; according to Porter&Moss, Vol. I), among them two obelisks, vases, and a statuette of Hatshepsut kneeling in front of a god.
Position C again shows several gifts (again New Year gifts; according to Porter&Moss), including royal statuettes (e.g. Hatshepsut kneeling between Sekhmet and Amun, Satet (Satis) nursing young Hatshepsut with Amun, Queen smiting captive, Hatshepsut embraced by Amun, etc.). Furthermore, the deceased is shown offering a collar to Hatshepsut.
Behind him two groups of statues are shown containing the deities of the Cataract region together with Amun and the queen. This arrangement could only have been erected and placed in her chapel in Elephantine by order of the queen. Obviously, Amenhotep was also responsible for the execution of this work as indicated by the title "chief priest of Chum, Satus, and Anukis" mentioned in SehÍl-Graffito No. 140. However, this title was not mentioned in tomb TT73.
Nevertheless, based on SehÍl graffito, No. 140 it can be concluded that the author were originally from Thebes and that he was charged by Hatshepsut not only with preparing two obelisks but also with preparing two groups of statues dedicated to deities of the Cataract region in her chapel in Elephantine.

This led to the conclusion, that Amenhotep the author of SehÍl graffito, No. 140, was also the owner of TT73.

However, the great deed of his career, the one of which he was most proud, was the work for the great obelisks of the queen. In Aswan as well as in Thebes he describes himself as the one who has been "the chief of the work on the two big obelisks". These were erected in the "House of Amun" as explicitly stated in the tomb. The house of Amun is to be taken as the temple of Amun at Karnak. These two obelisks have been erected between pylon 4 and 5.

Amenhotep is represented in SehÍl by a second graffito. The photo above shows the graffito in-situ and some other rocks near by which also carry a graffito. This one is larger than graffito No. 140, was given the number 143 by de Morgan, and shows a standing man described as "chief priest of Anukis, director of works in the Great-House-of-Red-Granite, Amenhotep, and his wife Amenemopet."

The author's name and one of his titles were chiseled out in the same way as in the case of graffito No. 140 (see sketch above, after de Morgan No. 143). Different from graffito No. 140 the author is described as "chief priest of Anukis" and "director of works in the Great-House-of-Red-Granite". Thus it may be assumed that the two big obelisks as well as other red granite monuments were wrought in the "Great-House-of-Red-Granite" under his supervision. Probably, this "house" was located in SehÍl".

In graffito No. 143 in SehÍl the author obviously is wearing a leopard skin, which but few of the high priests of that region appear to have worn. In Bigeh Island (see also Habachi, 1957) there is another inscription of a "chief priest of Anukis" who was also called Amenhotep. The text is accompanied by a standing man also wearing a leopard skin.  Again the name of the owner had been chiseled out in the manner as it was done in other inscriptions during the persecution of Hatshepsut.
Therefore, Habachi raised the idea that the graffito in Bigeh Island depicts also the same Amenhotep especially because the title "chief priest of Anukis" related him to the goddess of region.

Copyright: Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa)