Open main menu

Maya or May was a High Priest of Amun of Ancient Egypt, until at least year 4 of Akhenaten.

High Priest of Amun
PredecessorMeryptah or Ptahmose (vizier)
SuccessorParennefer called Wennefer
Dynasty18th Dynasty
PharaohAmenhotep III, Akhenaten
BurialDra' Abu el-Naga', Thebes (Tomb K99.1)


May is known from an expedition in year 4 to Wadi Wadi Hammamat. The purpose of the expedition was to quarry stone for the statue of the king.[1]

regnal year 4, third month of inundation, day 10; under the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Nefer-Khepheru-Re Waenre, the son of Re, Amenhotep; (the day) when the First Prophet of Amun, May, was charged with fetching basalt (for) the image of the Lord . . .[2]

Further inscriptions on the way to the quarries, at Wadi Abu Quwei, record that the expedition of the High Priest was accompanied by a contingent of 253 soldiers. the soldiers were under the command of a standard-bearer named Ry and his second in command named Amenmose.[3]

Aldred suggested that Meryptah had succeeded Ptahmose as High Priest of Amun and served towards the end of Amenhotep III's reign. And hence Maya would have been Meryptah's successor.[4]Donald Redford speculates that Maya is short for Ptahmose and that Ptahmose served from the end of the reign of Amenhotep III until the beginning of the time of Akhenaten.[2]

Death and burialEdit

Maya is not mentioned after year 4, and it is possible he died soon after this expedition.[2]

An ostracon with the name and title of the High Priest of Amun May was found by Fisher during the 1921-1923 expeditions in Dra' Abu el-Naga'. It is now in the Penn Museum (Object Number: 29-87-419).[5] The tomb of May was identified in Dra' Abu el-Naga' as being Tomb K99.1 by a German team led by D. Polz.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b Aidan Dodson, Amarna Sunrise: Egypt from the Golden Age to the Age of Heresy, The American University in Cairo Press, pp. 102, 2014
  2. ^ a b c Donald B. Redford: "The Identity of the High-Priest of Amun at the Beginning of Akhenaten's Reign", Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 83, No. 2 (Apr., 1963), pp. 240-241
  3. ^ Thomas Hikade, "Expeditions to the Wadi Hammamat during the New Kingdom", The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 92 (2006), pp. 153-168
  4. ^ Cyril Aldred, "Two Theban Notables during the Later Reign of Amenhotep III", Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1959
  5. ^ Porter, Bertha and Moss, Rosalind, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings Volume I: The Theban Necropolis, Part 2. Royal Tombs and Smaller Cemeteries, Griffith Institute. 1964, pp 611
  6. ^ Polz D. Bericht Uber die 9. bis 12. Grabungskampagne in der Nekropole von Dra'Abu el-Naga/Theben West, in MDAIK 59 (2003), pp. 373-74