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"Beauty is in Front"

Hatnofret's gold gilded funerary mask, currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.©

Dynasty 18th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Ahmose IIHatshepsut
Titles Lady of the House[1]
Spouse(s) Ramose
Issue Senmut
Born c. 1540 BC
Died c. 1470 BC (aged c. 70)
Burial Tomb of Ramose and Hatnofret
For other pages by this name, see Hatnofret.

Hatnofret or Hatnefer (ancient Egyptian: ḥt-nfr.t, "Beauty is in Front") was an ancient Egyptian noblewoman of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.

Origins and Family[]

Hatnofret was born a commoner and is believed to have hailed from Hermonthis,[1] a town only ten miles (16 km) south of Thebes within Upper Egypt. She was presumably born during the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose II,[1] the founder of Egypt's illustrious New Kingdom period. She was the wife of Ramose and mother of the Chief Steward Senmut. Their family had to be of middle class status at least and they seem to have primarily owed their social status to the career of their son Senmut. The commoner origins of Ramose and Hatnofret and the rise of their son Senmut were long considered to be prime examples of high social mobility in New Kingdom Egypt.


Hatnofret and her husband Ramose are mainly known from their intact burial at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, which is part of the Theban Necropolis. The tomb was found intact by Wiliam Hayes and Ambrose Lansing of the Metropolitan Museum's Egyptian expedition in excavation work conducted under a hillside terrace at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna during the 1935-1936 archaeological season.[2] The tomb was located not far from that of their son Senmut (TT71). Ramose and Hatnofret's tomb is notable for featuring the earliest known date from Hatshepsut's reign. Ramose and Hatnofret were buried in the tomb along with six other anonymous poorly wrapped mummies (three women and three unknown children) who are assumed to be family members of the couple.[2]


Hatnofret's mummy indicates that she was an elderly lady, with grey or even white hair.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Housemistress in New Kingdom Egypt: Hatnefer". Catharine H. Roehrig. The Met Museum"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bard & Shubert 1999, p. 819.
  3. Dorman 2003, p. 32, note 17.


  • Bard, K.A./Shubert S.B., 1999: Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Routledge, London.
  • Dorman, P.F., 2003: Family Burial and Commemoration in the Theban Necropolis. In: The Theban Necropolis: Past, Present and Future. British Museum Press, London.