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Circa 1514-1458 b.c.e.



Aristocratic Service . A famous royal architect and builder, Ineni, a member of the aristocracy, served Thutmose (or Thuthmosis) I and Hatshepsut, as well as two other kings. He may have begun his architectural work under Amenhotep I, and he seems to have been an honest and loyal government official. In addition to his construction duties he was also in charge of the granaries during his period of service.

Builder . Ineni supervised the construction of some of the impressive structures at the temple city of Karnak, including two giant quartzite obelisks for Thutmose. He built two pylons, the entrances to the temple, and possibly the great hall as well. He also designed and had a protective wall built around Amon’s shrine at Thebes.

A Hidden Grave . Ineni is credited with camouflaging the location of the king’s rock-cut tomb under a pyramid-shaped mountain by locating the upper structure in a different location, as he did for Thutmose I on the opposite (west) bank of the Nile from Karnak, south of Thebes, in an area that became known as the Valley of the Kings. He was well rewarded for his ingenuity in trying to keep the tomb away from potential robbers. After Ineni died and was buried, his tomb at Thebes boasted of his achievement in hiding his pharaoh’s burial chamber. Paintings in his tomb also indicate that he was an avid hunter and gardener.


Zahi Hawass, “Development of the Royal Mortuary Complex,” The Plateau, Internet website,

“Ineni,” Who’s Who of Ancient Egypt, Internet website,

W. Stevenson Smith, The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt, third edition (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1998).


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