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Khnumhotep III (sometimes simply vizier Khnumhotep) was an Ancient Egyptian high steward and vizier of the 12th Dynasty.

Khnumhotep (III)
High steward; Vizier
Tomb Khnumhotep III de Morgan 01.jpg
Plan of Khnumhotep's tomb at Dahshur
Dynasty12th Dynasty
PharaohSenusret III
FatherKhnumhotep II
BurialMastaba at Dahshur
t p
"Khnum is pleased"
in hieroglyphs

Khnumhotep was the son of the local governor Khnumhotep II, known from his tomb at Beni Hasan (tomb BH3). Khnumhotep was promoted as a young man, under Senusret II to the royal court and was sent on several missions, one of them to the Red Sea, another one to Byblos. He became high steward and finally vizier during the reign of Senusret III.[1]

The vizier Khnumhotep is known from inscriptions in the tomb of his father, from a stela found at the Red Sea and mainly from his mastaba at Dahshur, within the necropolis attached to the pyramid of Senusret III. The tomb was first excavated around 1894 by Jacques de Morgan who found several inscriptions as well as Khnumhotep's remains from which he estimated that the vizier should have been in his early sixties at the time of his death. New excavations after 2000 found several further biographical inscriptions, including those mentioning an expedition to Byblos and Ullaza.[2][3]

The mastaba was solid, without inner rooms, and was built of mudbricks covered with fine limestone while the outside was decorated with a palace façade and with the biographical inscription. The tomb has an area of c. 40 square metres (430 sq ft) and is relatively small if compared to some neighbouring tombs belonged to other viziers that are around 150 square metres (1,600 sq ft); this fact, in addition to his ranking titles reported in the tomb, suggests that Khnumhotep likely ordered this tomb early in his career, and that he became vizier in his very late life and didn't have enough time for building a mastaba more appropriate to his newly achieved high rank.[4]


  1. ^ Detlef Franke, The Career of Khnumhotep III of Beni Hasan and the so-called Decline of the Nomarchs, In: S. Quirke, Middle Kingdom Studies, New Malden 1991, p. 51-67 ISBN 1-872561-02-0
  2. ^ James P. Allen, "The Historical Inscription of Khnumhotep at Dahshur: Preliminary Report" In: Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research 352 (November 2008), pp. 29-39
  3. ^ Wolfram Grajetzki, Court Officials of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, London 2009, p. 149.
  4. ^ Wolfram Grajetzki, op. cit. p. 155.