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Preceded by:
Pinedjem I
High Priest of Amun
21st Dynasty
Succeeded by:

Outer coffin of Masaharta (CG 61027).©Heidi Kontkanen

Reign 1061–1052 BC (9 years)
D21 Z1
Titles High Priest of Amun
King's Son
Father Pinedjem I
Mother Isetemakhbit (?)
Spouse(s) Tayuheret
Issue Isetemakhbit, Tawadjetre
Died 1052 BC
Burial TT320 (reburial)
For other pages by this name, see Masaharta.

Masaharta (transliteration: mꜢ-sꜢ-hrṯ) was the third High Priest of Amun of the Twenty-first Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period.


See also: 21st Dynasty Family Tree.

Masaharta was a son of the High Priest of Amun Pinedjem I and his mother was probably Isetemakhbit, given his namesake daughter. His (half-)brothers include the later pharaoh Psusennes I and his successors as High Priest; Djedkhonsiuefankh and Menkheperre.

Masaharta's wife is likely to have been Tayuheret, a Chief of the Harem of Amun-Re whose mummy was found in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari.[1] Isetemakhbit is thought to have been their daughter. Another possible daughter is a Chantress of Amun named Tawadjetre, as she is attested as a daughter of Tayuheret.[2]


His father was Pinedjem I, who was the Theban High Priest of Amun and de facto ruler of Upper Egypt from 1070 BC. Around Year 15 or 16 of Smendes I, Pinedjem proclaimed himself pharaoh over Upper Egypt,[3] allowing his son Masaharta to succeed him as High Priest of Amun.

Several of his inscriptions are known from the Heb Sed temple of Amenhotep II at Karnak, from ram-headed sphinxes also in Karnak, and a large falcon statue.

Masaharta was responsible for the restoration of the mummy of Amenhotep I in Year 16 of Smendes I[4] (ca. 1060 BC). He is also mentioned in Theban Graffito no. 1572, from a Year 16, together with the Royal Scribe and Scribe in the Place of Truth, Ankhefenamun, the son of the Royal Scribe Butehamun.[5]

Masaharta's highest attestion is a Year 18.[4] It is sometimes derived from the combination of two letters found in el-Hiba, the first mentioning an untitled Masaharta praying for his health, and the second a letter of thanks to the local god by the High Priest Menkheperre, that Masaharta died of illness at el-Hiba around Year 24 of Smendes[6][7] (ca. 1052 BC), but this is no more than an unproven hypothesis. In fact, it has been pointed out that such a scenario ill fits the content of the letters.[8]


Masaharta Mummy

Mummy of Masaharta (Smith 1912).

The location of Masaharta's original tomb remains unknown.


In 1881 Masaharta's mummy was discovered by authorities in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari. His mummy is currently at the Mummification Museum in Luxor.[9]


  1. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 209.
  2. SR VII 11496.
  3. Taylor 1998, p. 1148.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kitchen 1986, p. 419, no. 27.
  5. Barwik 2015, p. 2-11.
  6. Spiegelberg 1917, p. 4, 13.
  7. Fischer-Elfert 1996, p. 141-144.
  8. Thijs 2005, p. 83.
  9. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 207.


  • Barwik, M., 2015: Theban Graffito no.1572 Rediscovered and Some New Texts from the "Valley of the Quarries". ZÄS 142.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Fischer-Elfert, H.W., 1996: Two Oracle Petitions Addressed to Horus-Khau with Some Notes on the Oracular Amuletic Decrees. JEA 82.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1986: The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt. 2nd revised edition, Warminster.
  • Spiegelberg, W., 1917: Briefe der 21. Dynastie aus El-Hibe. ZÄS 53.
  • Smith, G.E., 1912: The Royal Mummies. Duckworth. (Reprinted year 2000 version).
  • Taylor, J.H., 1998: Nodjmet, Payankh and Herihor: The Early Twenty-First Dynasty Reconsidered. In: Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists. C.J. Eyre (ed.), Leuven.
  • Thijs, A., 2005: In Search of King Herihor and the Penultimate Ruler of the 20th Dynasty. ZÄS 132.
Pinedjem I
High Priest of Amun
21st Dynasty