Ancient Egypt Wiki
High Priest of Amun Successor:
Dynasty 18th Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Amenhotep III and IV
Titles High Priest of Amun
Nomarch of Waset
Overseer of the Priests of Lower Egypt
Burial K99.1, Dra' Abu el-Naga'
For other pages by this name, see Maya.

Maya (transliteration: mꜤỉꜣ) was High Priest of Amun under Pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom.


A statue of Maya at the Berlin Egyptian Museum, attests him with the titles; Governor and Chief of the Priests of Lower Egypt.


Maya probably rose through the ranks in the Amun priesthood at Thebes to the position of High Priest in the last years of Amenhotep III's reign. Aldred suggested that Meryptah had succeeded Ptahmose as High Priest of Amun and served towards the end of Amenhotep III's reign. And hence Maya would have been Meryptah's successor.[1] Donald Redford speculates that Maya is short for Ptahmose and that Ptahmose served from the end of the reign of Amenhotep III until the beginning of the time of Akhenaten.[2]

Maya is known from an expedition in Year 4 to the Wadi Hammamat, the purpose of which was to quarry stone for the statue of the king.[3]

10/III/Akhet in Year 4; under the Majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Neferkhepherure-Waenre, the son of Re, Amenhotep; (the day) when the First Prophet of Amun, Maya, was charged with fetching basalt (for) the image of the Lord.[2]

Further inscriptions on the way to the quarries, at Wadi Abu Quwei, record that the expedition of the High Priest was accompanied by a contingent of 253 soldiers. the soldiers were under the command of a standard-bearer named Ry and his second in command named Amenmose.[4]


Maya is not mentioned after Year 4, and it is possible he died soon after this expedition.[2] However, given Akhenaten's religious reforms that were implimented shortly after, the office of High Priest of Amun might have been dissolved. Indeed, the next High Priest of Amun, Parennefer-Wenennefer, appears after Tutankhamun iniciated the restoration of Egypt's traditional religion.

An ostracon with the name and title of the High Priest of Amun May was found by Fisher during the 1921-1923 expeditions in Dra' Abu el-Naga'. It is now in the Penn Museum (Object Number: 29-87-419).[5] The tomb of May was identified in Dra' Abu el-Naga' as being Tomb K99.1 by a German team led by D. Polz.[6][3]


  1. Aldred 1959.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Redford 1963, p. 240-241.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dodson 2014, p. 102.
  4. Hikade 2006.
  5. Porter & Moss 2006.
  6. Polz et al. 2003, p. 373-374.


  • Aldred, C., 1959: Two Theban Notables during the Later Reign of Amenhotep III. Journal of Near Eastern Studies.
  • Dodson, A., 2014: Amarna Sunrise: Egypt from the Golden Age to the Age of Heresy. The American University in Cairo Press.
  • Hikade, T., 2006: Expeditions to the Wadi Hammamat during the New Kingdom. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 92, p. 153-168.
  • Polz, D., 2003: Bericht Uber die 9. bis 12. Grabungskampagne in der Nekropole von Dra'Abu el-Naga/Theben West. MDAIK, Vol. 59.
  • Redford, D.B., 1963: The Identity of the High-Priest of Amun at the Beginning of Akhenaten's Reign. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 83, No. 2.
High Priest of Amun
18th Dynasty