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"The One who Belongs to Khonsu"
Neskhonsu A

Neskhonsu's outer coffin (Cairo Museum JE 61030). © VB 2015

Dynasty 21st Dynasty
Pharaoh(s) Siamun
Titles Chief of the Harem of Amun-Re
Chief of the Harem of Khonsu
God's Mother of Khonsu
Viceroy of Kush
Father Smendes II
Mother Takhentdjehuty
Spouse(s) Pinedjem II
Issue Tjanefer, Masaharta,
Itawy, Nestanebetashru
Burial TT320
For other pages by this name, see Neskhonsu.

Neskhonsu (ancient Egyptian: ns-ḫnsw, "The One who Belongs to Khonsu") was an ancient Egyptian noble woman of the Twenty-first Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period.


Neskhonsu held the titles "Superintendent of Southern Foreign Lands" and "Viceroy of Kush",[1] making her the first female viceroy. She might have been succeeded in this office by Karimala, the queen consort of Pharaoh Siamun.[2]

Her coffins give the following additional titles;[3] Chief of the Harem of Amun-Re,Chief of the Harem of Khonsu, God's Mother of Khonsu, Chantress of Nekhbet at Eileithyiaspolis, Chantress of Osiris, Isis and Horus at Abydos, and Chantress of Hathor at Cusae.


Neskhonsu was the daughter of the High Priest of Amun, Smendes II, and his second wife, Takhentdjehuty.[4] Neskhonsu rose to the prominent position of Chief of the Harem of Amun-Re by marriage to her paternal uncle, Pinedjem II, who succeeded her father as High Priest of Amun. The pair is known to have had four children; two sons, Tjanefer and Masaharta, and two daughters, Itawy and Nestanebetashru.[5] Their names are attested on a decree written on a wooden tablet, which was placed in her tomb in order to ensure her well-being in the afterlife and to prevent her doing harm to her husband and children. This suggests family problems around the time of her death.[6]


Neskhonsu predeceased her husband and was buried in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari. Her mummy and coffins were discovered there in 1981. She was buried in Year 5 of Siamun in coffins that were originally made for Pinedjem II's sister and first wife Isetemkheb. Neskhonsu seems to have donated one of her own coffins to the reburial of Ramesses IX.


Neskhonsu A Mummy

Mummy of Neskhonsu (Smith 1912).

Neskhonsu's mummy has the inventory number CG 61095. It was partially unwrapped by Gaston Maspero on 27 June 1886; while twenty years later, G. Elliot Smith removed the remainder of the wrappings.[7] Neskhons did not have any gray hairs, so it is likely that she died young; according to Smith, she was either pregnant or giving birth at her death. The gold decoration of her coffin has been stolen in antiquity; her heart scarab was stolen by the Abd-el-Rassul family of grave robbers, but has been recovered and taken to the British Museum.[8]


  1. Edwards 2004, p. 106, 117.
  2. Bennett 1999.
  3. Wallis Budge 1912.
  4. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 200-201.
  5. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 200.
  6. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 207.
  7. Smith 1912.
  8. "Neskhons' Burial in TT320". The Theban Royal Mummy Project, by William Max Miller.


  • Bennett, C., 1999: Queen Karimala, Daughter of Osochor? Göttinger Miszellen, Vol. 173.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Edwards, D., 2004: The Nubian Past. Routledge, Oxon.
  • Smith, G.E., 1912: The Royal Mummies: Catalogue Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée de Caire. Duckworth. (Reprinted year 2000 version).
  • Wallis Budge, E.A., 1912: The Greenfield papyrus in the British Museum.