A Family of Priests Revealed in
Theban Tombs no. 72 and 121

Peter A. Piccione
University of Charleston, S.C.

© 2000. All rights reserved.

Presented at the International Congress of Egyptologists, Cairo, March 2000.

To date, the University of Charleston, S.C./Serapis Research Institute Theban Tombs Publication Project has engaged in five campaigns in the tombs of Ahmose (TT 121) and his son, Ry (TT 72). The two tombs date to the reigns of Thutmose III, and Amenhotep II, respectively.

Ahmose was Second Prophet of Amun-Ra at Karnak, God's Father, and Overseer of Upper and Lower Egypt. Where Ry completed the decoration of Ahmose's tomb, he named him First Prophet in Henqet-ankh (the mortuary temple of Thutmose III), suggesting that Ahmose was promoted either late in life or posthumously. Ahmose's brother, Neferhebef, was a wab-priest in Henqet-ankh, while his father, Ramose, was a magistrate (s3b).

Ry, held seven major titles in four temples in Western Thebes. He was First Prophet of Amun and Menkheperre in Henqet-ankh and of Hathor Residing in Henqet-ankh. At one time or another, he was First Prophet of Amun in Djeser-set (the 18th Dynasty temple at Medinet Habu), Djeser-akhet (Thutmose III's temple at Deir el-Bahari), and Men-iset (the temple of Amenhotep I and Ahmes-Nefertari). He was also Overseer of the Mansion of Gold of Amun's Estate. Texts in his tomb reveal the names of priest-colleagues, some of whom might have been his brothers.

From the tombs and other inscriptions, we now know the names of members of at least three generations of this family of Theban priests. Apparently, it had close ties to the Thutmosid royal family, since it enjoyed certain privileges and status. However, given the personal attacks on the figures of Ry in his tomb and the careful excision of certain of his texts there, it is possible that he and the family ultimately fell from royal favor.

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