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"Amun is Pleased"
Amenhotep HPA

Amenhotep depicted in the temple of Amun at Karnak.

High Priest of Amun Successor:
Dynasty 20th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Ramesses IXRamesses XI
Titles High Priest of Amun
Nomarch of Waset
Mayor of Thebes
Father Ramessesnakhte
Mother Adjedet-Aa
Spouse(s) Herer (?)
Issue Nedjemet (?), Smendes I (?)
Burial Unknown
For other pages by this name, see Amenhotep.

Amenhotep (ancient Egyptian: ỉmn-ḥtp, "Amun is Pleased") was an ancient Egyptian high official of the Twentieth Dynasty during the New Kingdom, serving as High Priest of Amun under Ramesses IX, Ramesses X and Ramesses XI.


Amenhotep was the son and successor of the High Priest of Amun Ramessesnakhte and his wife Adjedet-Aat. His brothers include; Merybastet II, Usermaatrenakhte II, and Nesamun. The latter held the office of Second Prophet of Amun. He also had a sister called Aatmeret.

Amenhotep's wife may have been Herer,[1] a Chief of the Harem of Amun-Re who was likely married to a High Priest of Amun and is attested as the mother of Nedjemet and a King's Mother "who bore the Strong Bull" suggesting that she actually must have given birth to a king.[2] The most probable candidate for this king being Smendes I. Although, these relationships to Amenhotep remain highly speculative.


From several references in the Tomb Robbery Papyri (Pap. Mayer A; Pap. B.M. 10383; Pap. B.M. 10052) it can be deduced that, not long before Year 19 of Ramesses XI's reign, the High Priest of Amun Amenhotep was ousted from office by the Viceroy of Kush Panehesy.[3] However, a heavily damaged inscription published by Wente is highly suggestive of Amenhotep having been restored to his former position after an appeal to the king.[4] Sebsequently, Panehesy fled south and managed to maintain a powerbase in Nubia, which marked the beginning of the Ramesside Renaissance (wḥm-mswt) in Year 19 of Ramesses XI.

Sometime prior to Year 7 of the Renaissance (Year 25 of Ramesses XI) Amenhotep was succeeded in office by Piankh, since the latter is now attested as High Priest of Amun.[5][6] Some Egyptologists have argued that Herihor ruled in between,[citation needed] though recent studies by Karl Jansen-Winkeln now dispute this.[7][8] Piankh is also attested to have been Viceroy of Kush in Year 7,[9] perhaps suggesting that Panehesy's authority over Nubia in its entirety was by now limited or at least contested.

It has been postulated that Nesamun may have acted as 'temporary' High Priest to replace his brother during the transgression against the latter by the Viceroy of Kush Panehesy.[10] Such a scenario might explain why he was apparently allowed by the High Priest Piankh to perform the role normally played solely by the High Priest of Amun.


The whereabouts of Amenhotep's tomb and mummy remain unknown.

See also[]


  1. Thijs 2013, p. 54-69.
  2. Wente 1967, p. 173-174.
  3. Niwiński 1992, p. 235-262.
  4. Wente 1966.
  5. Nims 1948, p. 157-162.
  6. Thijs 2009, p. 343-353.
  7. Jansen-Winkeln 1992, p. 22-37.
  8. Shaw 2000, p. 309.
  9. Thijs 2003, p. 296.
  10. Thijs 2009, p. 343-353.


  • Jansen-Winkeln, K., 1992: Das Ende des Neuen Reiches. ZAS 119.
  • Nims, C.F., 1948: An Oracle Dated in "The Repeating of Births". Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3.
  • Niwiński, A., 1992: Bürgerkrieg, militärischer Staatsstreich und Ausnahmezustand in Ägypten unter Ramses XI: Ein Versuch neuer Interpretation der alten Quellen. In: Gamer-Wallert, Helck (eds.), Gegengabe: Festschrift für Emma Brunner-Traut. Attempto, Tübingen.
  • Shaw, I., 2000: The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press.
  • Thijs, A., 2003: The Troubled Careers of Amenhotep and Panehsy: The High Priest of Amun and the Viceroy of Kush under the Last Ramessides. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK), Vol. 31.
  • Thijs, A., 2009: The Second Prophet Nesamun and his claim to the High-Priesthood. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK), Vol. 38.
  • Thijs, A., 2013: Nodjmet A, Daughter of Amenhotep, Wife of Piankh and Mother of Herihor. ZÄS 140.
  • Wente, E.F., 1966: The Suppression of the High Priest Amenhotep. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 25.
  • Wente, E.F., 1967: Late Ramesside Letters. SAOC 33.
High Priest of Amun
20th Dynasty