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

Pinedjem I depicted in the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak.©

Reign 1070–1032 BC (38 years)
"Appearing Manifestation of Re,
Chosen of Amun"
"The Pleasant One,
Beloved of Amun"
Horus name
"Strong Bull who Appears in Thebes"
Titles High Priest of Amun
Commander of the Troops
Father Piankh
Mother Nedjemet
Spouse(s) Duathathor-Henuttawy,
Isetemakhbit, Tentnabekhenut
Issue Psusennes I, Masaharta,
Djedkhonsiuefankh, Menkheperre,
Maatkare, Mutnedjmet, Henuttawy,
Nespaneferher, Nauny
Died 1032 BC
Burial TT320 (reburial)
Monuments Temple of Khonsu at Karnak
For other pages by this name, see Pinedjem.

Pinedjem I (transliteration: pꜢy-nḏm, meaning: "The Pleasant One") was the second High Priest of Amun of the Twenty-first Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period. He was the de facto ruler of Upper Egypt and a contemporary to the pharaohs; Smendes I, Amenemnisut, and Psusennes I, who ruled over Lower Egypt.


See also: 21st Dynasty Family Tree.

Pinedjem I was a son of the High Priest of Amun Piankh and Nedjemet.[1] Herihor, the High Priest that ruled in between Piankh and Pinedjem I himself, was likely Pinedjem's brother.[2] Herihor was previously thought to have ruled before Piankh,[citation needed] though more recent studies by Karl Jansen-Winkeln now dispute this.[3][4] Pinedjem had two known brothers; Heqanefer, who became Second Prophet of Amun, and Heqamaat, a Sem Priest at Medinet Habu. He also had a sister named Faienmut.[1]

Three of Pinedjem's wives are known. Duathathor-Henuttawy, the daughter of Ramesses XI bore him several children: the future pharaoh Psusennes I, the God's Wife of Amun Maatkare, Princess Henuttawy and probably Queen Mutnedjmet, the sister-wife of Psusennes.[1] Another wife of Pinedjem was the Chantress of Amun, Isetemakhbit. She is mentioned along with Pinedjem I on bricks found at the northern fortress of el-Hiba.[5] A possible third wife is Tentnabekhenut, who is mentioned on the funerary papyrus of her daughter Nauny. Nauny was buried at Thebes and is called a King's Daughter, thus making it very likely that Pinedjem was her father.[6]

Four more sons of Pinedjem are known, all of whom became High Priests of Amun. Their mothers remain unidentified, but one or more of them must have been born to Duathathor-Henuttawy. These are; Masaharta, Djedkhonsiuefankh, Menkheperre,[5] and Nespaneferher, a God's Father of Amun, whose name replaced that of a son of Herihor in the temple of Khonsu at Karnak.[7]


A grafitto by Pinedjem in the temple of Luxor, honoring his father Piankh and his father's family, attests Pinedjems titles "Vizier, High Priest of Amun, Generalissimo of the Whole Land, army leader. Pinedjem inherited these offices from his predecessors Piankh and Herihor. Although he is not attested as Viceroy of Kush, he likely inherited this title as well since both Piankh and Herihor held the office and Pinedjem's name appears as far south as Sehel Island (above the 1st Cataract).


Pinedjem I is now convincingly shown to have succeeded Herihor into the office of High Priest of Amun. This interpretation is supported by the decorations from the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak where Herihor's wall reliefs are immediately followed by those of Pinedjem I with no intervening phase for Piankh.

Pinedjem strengthened his control over both Middle and Upper Egypt and asserted his kingdom's virtual independence from the Twenty-first Dynasty pharaohs of Lower Egypt based at Tanis. He married Duathathor-Henuttawy, a daughter of Ramesses XI, to cement his relations with the other powerful families of the period. Their son, Psusennes I, went on to become Pharaoh at Tanis, thereby removing at a stroke the gap between the two families. In practice, however, the 21st dynasty kings and the Theban high priests were probably never very far apart politically since they respected each other's political autonomy.

Around Year 15 or 16 of Smendes I, Pinedjem proclaimed himself pharaoh over Upper Egypt,[8] even adopting Royal Titulary. His priestly role as High Priest was inherited by his son Masaharta, Djedkhonsuefankh and Menkheperre in succession. Meanwhile, his daughter Maatkare functioned as an influencial religious figure at Thebes in the office of God's Wife of Amun.


Pinedjem I's original tomb remains unknown, although faint traces of his cartouche have been found at the entrance to the KV4 rock-cut tomb of Ramesses XI in the Valley of the Kings. However, it has not been conclusively proven that Pinedjem was actually buried there.


Pinudjem I Mummy

Mummy of Pinedjem I (photo taken by Emil Brugsch).

In 1881 Pinedjem's mummy was discovered by authorities in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari. Pinudjem I had originally been buried in a double coffin set usurped from Thutmose I, though his mummy was reburied in the outer coffin of Queen Ahhotep I, the mother of Ahmose II, founder of the New Kingdom. Pinedjem's mummy appears to have been discovered in good condition. However, since it has been missing since the late 19th century, its current condition remains unknown.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 200-201.
  2. Thijs 2013.
  3. Jansen-Winkeln 1992, p. 22-37.
  4. Janssen-Winkeln 2006, p. 226.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 206.
  6. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 202.
  7. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 208.
  8. Taylor 1998, p. 1148.


  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Jansen-Winkeln, K., 1992: Das Ende des Neuen Reiches. ZAS 119.
  • Janssen-Winkeln, K., 2006: Relative Chronology of Dyn. 21. In: Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, and David A. Warburton (eds.), Ancient Egyptian Chronology. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1: The Near and Middle East, Vol. 83.
  • 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., 2013: Nodjmet A, Daughter of Amenhotep, Wife of Piankh and Mother of Herihor. ZÄS 140.
High Priest of Amun
21st Dynasty