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Amenhotep, Son of Hapu – An Egyptian Saint

W1367The Egypt Centre has on display two pieces of a stone sarcophagus (W1367) which belonged to Amenhotep Son of Hapu. Amenhotep was an Egyptian saint. He was born in 1430 BC at Athribis in the Nile Delta. When he was 40 he moved to the Royal court at Thebes where he became famous as a scribe, quarter-master general and a royal architect. He died in his 80s and was buried in a rock cut tomb in western Thebes. After his death he was revered for his wisdom and from the Late Dynastic Period (747-332 BC) was worshipped as a god of medicine.

Other pieces of the sarcophagus are situated in museums throughout the world. Below you can see a diagram showing where you believe the Egypt Centre fragments fit in the whole.

Most 18th Dynasty coffins are made of wood, but during the reign of Amenophis III there was an upsurge in the use of stone, particularly basalt and granite.

The coffin is similar to that of Merymose, Amenophis III’s Viceroy of Nubia, in the style of panelling. His coffin is now in The British Museum and originally was a nest of 3. However, Merymose’ coffin is anthropoid (human shaped) with a head and feet.

The coffin of Amenhotep Son of Hapu is quite unusual. The lid is smoothly curved with a round head end and a contour that tapers from the shoulders to the flat foot end. This shape is more usual of later Third Intermediate Period and amenhotepLate Period sarcophagi than those of the New Kingdom.

The fragments in the Egypt Centre show 4 titles of Amenhotep: commander of the army; overseer of the double granaries; fan bearer on the right side; governor.

Further Reading

Ikram, Salima and Dodson, Aidan, 1998. The Mummy In Ancient Egypt. London: Thames and Hudson 

Varille, A., 1968. Inscriptions concernant l’architecte Amenhotep fils de Hapou (IFAO Cairo)