Neferhotep, Son of Henu

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Neferhotep, son of Henu

fl. during the Middle Kingdom (2008–1630 b.c.e.)


Harpist and Singer.

Neferhotep, son of Henu, was one of the earliest known singer/harpists from ancient Egypt. His portrait and his song were included on the stela of a man named Iki. On the stela, Iki is seated before an offering table while his wife stands behind him. Neferhotep plays on the other side of the table. He kneels next to his harp as he plays. He is portrayed with the rolls of fat Egyptian artists depicted in portraits of wealthy people. He also wears his hair very closely cropped. His eyes are slits, suggesting either that he is blind or that his eyes are squeezed closed with emotion. Neferhotep's song is recorded in four short columns of hieroglyphs carved in front of him. In the song Neferhotep praises life in the tomb after death.


Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings I (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973).

Lisa Manniche, Music and Musicians in Ancient Egypt (London: British Museum Press, 1991).