Hemiunu, Son of Nefermaat

views updated

Hemiunu, Son of Nefermaat

fl. Fourth Dynasty (2625–2500 b.c.e.)


Royal Connections.

Hemiunu was the son of Nefermaat, a son of King Sneferu. He was thus grandson of one king and nephew of King Khufu, patron of the Great Pyramid at Giza. As a member of the royal family he reached many high offices. The list of his achievements is recorded on his statue, currently located in Hildesheim, Germany. They include,

Member of the elite, high official, vizier, king's seal bearer, attendant of Nekhen, and spokesman of every resident of Pe, priest of Bastet, priest of Shesmetet, priest of the Ram of Mendes, Keeper of the Apis Bull, Keeper of the White Bull, whom his lord loves, elder of the palace, high priest of Thoth, whom his lord loves, courtier, Overseer of Royal Scribes, priest of the Panther Goddess, Director of Music of the South and North, Overseer of All Construction Projects of the King, king's [grand-]son of his own body …

The last title listed, and perhaps the most important title he held, allows Egyptologists to determine that he was the architect and construction supervisor for the Great Pyramid and of all the mastaba tombs located at Giza. His own large mastaba tomb and magnificent statues suggest the extent of the rewards King Khufu gave Hemiunu in return for this work. As is true with so many other important individuals who lived in ancient Egypt, little detail of his life can be added.


Marsha Hill, "Hemiunu Seated," in Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1999): 229–231.

Hermann Junker, "Giza I: Die Mastabas der IV. Dynastie auf dem Westfriedhof" Denkschrift der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften 69 (1929): 153–157.