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t p
ỉmn-ḥtp sꜣ-ḥꜥpw
"Amun is Pleased, Son of Hapu"
Amenhotep Sihapu

Statue of Amenhotep-Sihapu as an elderly manin the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.©

Dynasty 18th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Amenhotep IIAmenhotep III
Titles Overseer of the King's Works
Fanbearer on the King's Right Hand
Steward of Princess-Queen Sitamun
Royal Scribe
Scribe of the Recruits
Overseer of the Cattle of Amun
High Priest of Horus
God's Father
Sole Companion
Father Hapu
Mother Itu
Born c. 1425 BC, Athribis
Died c. 1356 BC, Thebes? (aged c. 69)
Burial Qurnet Murai (?)
For other pages by this name, see Amenhotep.

Amenhotep-Sihapu (transliteration: ỉmn-ḥtp sꜣ-ḥꜥpw, meaning: "Amun is Pleased, Son of Hapu") was an ancient Egyptian architect, priest and scribe mainly under Pharaoh Amenhotep III of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.


Some of Amenhotep-Sihapu's titles include; Count, Sole Companion, Fanbearer on the King's Right Hand, Chief of the King's Works, Royal Scribe, Scribe of the Recruits, Overseer of the Cattle of Amun in the South and North, High Priest of Horus at Athribis, God's Father, and Steward of Princess-Queen Sitamun.[1]

Origins and Family[]

Amenhotep-Sihapu is said to have been born at the end of Thutmose III's reign, in the town of Athribis. His father was called Hapu, and his mother Itu.[2]


Though little about Amenhotep-Sihapu's early life is known prior to his entering civil service, it is believed that he learned to read and write at the local library and scriptorium. He was a priest and a Scribe of Recruits (organizing the labour and supplying the manpower for the Pharaoh's projects, both civilian and military). He was also an architect and supervised several building projects, among them Amenhotep III's mortuary temple at western Thebes, of which only two statues remain nowadays, known as the Colossi of Memnon, and the creation of the quarry of El-Gabal el-Ahmar, nearby Heliopolis, from which the blocks used to create the Colossi were probably taken. Other plans, such as the portico of the Temple of Karnak, completed under Ramesses II, and those for the Luxor Temple are also attributed to Amenhotep. He may also have been the architect of the Temple of Soleb in Nubia.[3] Amenhotep also utilised his influence with the king to secure royal patronage for his hometown of Athribis and the temple dedicated to its local god.[4]

Amenhotep is noted to have participated in Amenhotep III's first Sed festival, in Year 30 of the king's rule. After this, he is believed to have retired from civil service and became the Steward of Princess Sitamun's properties (similar to an asset manager today), and received honours such as the designation of Fanbearer on the King's Right Hand, among other things.

Death and Burial[]

It is generally believed that Amenhotep-Sihapu was buried in Thebes and he may have been buried at Qurnet Murai. Parts of his sarcophagus have been found, but the exact location of his tomb and mummy remains known.[1] According to some reliefs in the TT55 tomb of Ramose, he may have died in Year 31 of Amenhotep III, which would correspond to either 1360 BC or 1357 BC, depending on the chronology used. His death has also been dated to Year 35.

Mortuary temple[]

Amenhotep-Sihapu was allowed to build his mortuary temple adjacent to that of the pharaoh. This honour is quite rare and indicates that Amenhotep was highly respected by the time of his death, despite the fact that he was a commoner and had only entered civil service at an advanced age, in his late forties. Excavated in 1934 or 1935, it measures 45 × 110 metres and is surrounded by three shrines. His first courtyard contained a 25 × 26 m water basin of considerable depth, fed by groundwater from the Nile. Twenty trees were planted in pits around the basin. The temple at the end of the courtyard was adorned with a pillared portico, and the temple was slightly elevated on a terrace.


After his death, his reputation grew and he was revered for his teachings and as a philosopher. He was also revered as a healer and eventually worshipped as a god of healing, like his remote predecessor Imhotep (Amenhotep and Imhotep are among the few non-royal Egyptians who were deified after their death, and until the 21st century, they were thought to be only two commoners to achieve this status).[5] There are several surviving statues of him as a scribe, portraying him as a young man and as an older man. He was a deified human and thus was depicted only in human form. His cult was initially limited to the Thebes area, with a funerary temple constructed to him during his lifetime next to that of Amenhotep III. This was clearly an exceptional privilege, as it was the only private cult temple to be built among the royal monuments in the area. He continued to be worshipped for at least three centuries after his death, and evidence of this worship persists in a 26th Dynasty votary inscription on a statue dedicated to Amenhotep by a daughter of the pharaoh.[1] During the Ptolemaic Dynasty, his worship saw a resurgence which led to chapels being dedicated to him in the Temple of Hathor at Deir el-Medina and the Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari. Statues were erected to him in the Temple of Amun at Karnak and he was treated as an intermediary with the god Amun.[3]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bart, Anneke (September 2008). "Amenhotep son of Hapu". Saint Louis University. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  2. Wildung 1977, p. 76.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wilkinson 2003, p. 92.
  4. Doffinger, André. "Inscriptions of Amenhotep, son of Hapu". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  5. Albrecht & Feldmeier 2014, p. 29.


  • Albrecht, F./Feldmeier, R. (eds.), 2014: The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity. Themes in Biblical Narrative: Jewish and Christian Traditions (E-book ed.). Brill, Leiden/Boston.
  • Wildung, D., 1977: Egyptian Saints: Deification in Pharaonic Egypt. New York University Press.