Khnumhotep I

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Khnumhotep I
of the 16th nome of Upper Egypt
Entrance of the tomb of Khnumhotep I.jpg
Entrance to tomb of Khnumhotep I BH14 at Beni Hasan (c. 1890)
Dynasty 12th Dynasty
Pharaoh Amenemhat I
Wife Zatipy
ChildrenNakht, Baqet
Burial Beni Hasan tomb 14 (BH14)

Khnumhotep I (ẖnmw-ḥtp, "Khnum is pleased") was an ancient Egyptian Great Chief of the Oryx nome (the 16th nome of Upper Egypt) during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat I of the 12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom (early 20th century BCE).

Khnum god of creation and the waters in Egyptian mythology

Khnum was one of the earliest-known Egyptian deities, originally the god of the source of the Nile. Since the annual flooding of the Nile brought with it silt and clay, and its water brought life to its surroundings, he was thought to be the creator of the bodies of human children, which he made at a potter's wheel, from clay, and placed in their mothers' uteruses. He later was described as having moulded the other deities, and he had the titles "Divine Potter" and "Lord of created things from himself".

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

A nomarch was a provincial governor in Ancient Egypt; the country was divided into 42 provinces, called nomes. A nomarch was the government official responsible for a nome.



Khnumhotep IKhnumhotep IKhnumhotep I
Khnumhotep IKhnumhotep I
in hieroglyphs

Khnumhotep I is the earliest known member of a powerful family of nomarchs and officials, housed in Men'at Khufu, which lasted for most of the 12th Dynasty; many of Khnumhotep's descendants were named after him, the most notable of them being his grandson Khnumhotep II, well known for his tomb's remarkable decorations. Some biographical information about Khnumhotep I came from his tomb at Beni Hasan (BH14) as well as from that of his grandson Khnumhotep II (BH3). [1]

Khnumhotep II Egyptian nomarch

Khnumhotep II was an ancient Egyptian Great Chief of the Oryx nome during the reign of pharaohs Amenemhat II and Senusret II of the 12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom. He is well known for his tomb at Beni Hasan and its decorations.

Beni Hasan Village and archaeological site in Middle Egypt

Beni Hasan is an Ancient Egyptian cemetery site. It is located approximately 20 kilometers (12 mi) to the south of modern-day Minya in the region known as Middle Egypt, the area between Asyut and Memphis.

A Libyan or Kushite woman with her baby, depicted in Khnumhotep I's tomb Painting Tomb BH14 Newberry 02.png
A Libyan or Kushite woman with her baby, depicted in Khnumhotep I's tomb

Khnumhotep's mother was a lady called Baqet whilst his father's name is unknown. His family apparently replaced an earlier family of nomarchs who were active at Men'at Khufu during the second part of the 11th Dynasty, whose members were usually named Khety or Baqet (a prominent member of this family was Baqet III). [4] [5]

Baqet III Egyptian nomarch

Baqet III was an ancient Egyptian official and Great Chief of the Oryx nome during the 11th Dynasty in the 21st century BCE. Apart from the position of governor of the entire nome, Baqet III also held the titles haty-a, treasurer of the king of Lower Egypt, confidential friend, true royal acquaintance, and mayor of Nekheb.

From the inscriptions in Khnumhotep's tomb is known that early in his career he accompanied Amenemhat I in a military expedition aimed to expel a foe from Egypt. The name of this enemy is deliberately omitted in order to prevent his unintended “immortality”, but was undoubtedly one of Amenemhat's rivals for the crown, possibly Segerseni. [6] Ultimately, Amenemhat emerged victorious over “Nubians and Asiatics” and Khnumhotep was rewarded for his loyalty with the title count of Men'at Khufu. [1] [5] Khnumhotep I later was granted other titles such as great lord of the Oryx nome, hereditary prince and count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion, and was also in charge of an important office at Nekhen. [1]

Segerseni Egyptian ruler

Segerseni was an ancient Egyptian or Nubian chieftain of Nubia, likely reigning concurrently with the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th Dynasty during the early Middle Kingdom.

Nubia region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt

Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, with a history that can be traced from at least 2500 BC onward with the Kerma culture. The latter was conquered by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty.

Nekhen Religious and political capital of Upper Egypt in Ancient Egypt

Nekhen or Hierakonpolis was the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt at the end of prehistoric Egypt and probably also during the Early Dynastic Period.

He married a woman named Zatipy who was his main wife. Lesser wives were Herit and Heryib. From a fourth wife, the name is not preserved. [7] After Khunmhotep's death, his titles passed to his son Nakht, then to a seemingly unrelated man called Amenemhat and then again to one of his relatives, Netjernakht. Khnumhotep I also had a daughter, Baqet, herself mother of the aforementioned Khnumhotep II who inherited the title of nomarch after Netjernakht. [4] See "Nomarchs of the Oryx nome" for further notes about his genealogy.

Zatipy was an important Ancient Egyptian woman who lived around 2000 BC at the beginning of the 12th Dynasty under king Amenemhat I. She was the wife of Khnumhotep I who was local governor in the Oryx nome. Zatipy is depicted in the tomb of her husband at Beni Hasan. There she is shown behind him, both watching activities of peasants in the marshes. Behind her depiction, her name and titles are written. She was member of the elite (iryt-pat), wife of the ruler and lady of the house. She is also called mistress of all women. The relative high number of titles is remarkable. Especially the title member of the elite is rare for women and only better attested for women with royal connections. It was therefore proposed that Zatipy came from a royal or highly important family. If she was a princess, king Amenemhat I might have tried with this marriage to keep close ties to an important local family.

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Khnumhotep III ancient Egyptian vizier

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Djefaihapi ancient Egyptian nomarch

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  1. 1 2 3 Breasted, §§. 463-65.
  2. Percy Newberry, Beni hasan. Part I, London 1893, pp. 85 & 204.
  3. Gaston Maspero, History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria - Volume II. 1903, p. 354.
  4. 1 2 Grajetzki, p. 136.
  5. 1 2 Grajetzki, pp. 113-14.
  6. Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, Blackwell Books, 1992, p. 158–60.
  7. Miral Lashien, Anna-Latifa Mouradː Beni Hassan, Volume V, The Tomb of Khnumhotep I, Oxford 2019 ISBN   978-0-85668-842-3, p. 14


James Henry Breasted American archaeologist, egyptologist and historian

James Henry Breasted was an American archaeologist, Egyptologist, and historian. After completing his PhD at the University of Berlin in 1894, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago. In 1901 he became director of the Haskell Oriental Museum at the university, where he continued to concentrate on Egypt. In 1905 Breasted was promoted to full professor, and held the first chair in Egyptology and Oriental History in the United States.

Wolfram Grajetzki is a German Egyptologist. He performed excavations in Egypt, but also in Pakistan. He published articles and several books on the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, on administration, burial customs and queens.

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