Ancient Egypt Wiki
Dynasty 20th and 21st Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Ramesses XISmendes I
Titles King's Mother
Chief of the Harem of Amun-Re
Spouse(s) Amenhotep (?)
Issue Nedjemet, Smendes I (?)
Burial Theban Necropolis (?)

Herer (ancient Egyptian: ḥrr, "Flower") was an ancient Egyptian noble lady of the late Twentieth and early Twenty-first Dynasty during the New Kingdom.


Herer's parentage remains unknown. She held the prominent position of "Chief of the Harem of Amun-Re", which indicates that she was married to a High Priest of Amun, probably Amenhotep. Herer is furthermore attested as a "King's Mother" (mwt-nỉsw.t), potentially making her the mother of Pharaoh Smendes I. The title cannot be interpretated as King's mother-in-law as her title "who bore the Strong Bull" suggests that she actually must have given birth to a king.[1] She may alternatively have been regarded a "King's Mother" during the 21st dynasty by the High Priests Herihor and/or Pinedjem I, for being the mother of their father, the High Priest Piankh.

The only thing which can be established beyond doubt is that she was the mother of the lady Nedjemet whose mummy and funerary equipment have been found in the Royal Cache at Deir el-Bahari.[2] With the mummy of this Nedjemet two Books of the Dead were found. One of them, Papyrus BM 10490, now in the British museum, belonged to "the King's Mother Nedjemet, the daughter of the King's Mother Herer". Herer is thus generally considered to be the mother of Queen Nedjemet, who was the wife of Herihor. However, according to Ad Thijs there is another Nedjemet, who was the mother of Herihor, and who he sees as the daughter of Herer.[3]


One of the "Late Ramesside Letters", letter no. 2, written by the Scribe of the Necropolis Thutmose, mentions Herer as being in Elephantine during a military expedition of Piankh. Since this seemed to imply that Piankh had his grandmother accompany him on the first part of a dangerous campaign, M. Bierbrier suggested that besides a Herer A, the mother of Nedjemet, there may have been a Herer B, the daughter of Nedjemet and the wife of Piankh.[4] However, since the pontificate of Piankh is now believed to have taken place before that of Herihor,[5] the need for a second Herer ceased to exist.


The whereabouts of Herer's tomb and mummy remain unknown. She was presumably buried somewhere at the Theban Necropolis.


  1. Wente 1967, p. 173-174.
  2. Kitchen 1996, p. 43-45.
  3. Thijs 2013, p. 54-69.
  4. Bierbrier 1973, p. 311.
  5. Jansen-Winkeln 1992.


  • Bierbrier, M.L., 1973: Hrere, Wife of the High Priest Paiankh. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 32.
  • Jansen-Winkeln, K., 1992: Das Ende des Neuen Reiches. ZAS 119.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1996: The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt. 2nd revised Edition, Warminster.
  • Thijs, A., 2013: Nodjmet A, Daughter of Amenhotep, Wife of Piankh and Mother of Herihor. Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, Vol. 140.
  • Wente, E.F., 1967: On the Chronology of the Twenty-First Dynasty. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 26.