The page was last modified on February 28th 2013
Sources:
1. Wilkinson, R. H. : The complete temples of Ancient Egypt.
London : Thames & Hudson, 2000.
2. Bomann, Ann H.: The private chapel in ancient Egypt : a study of the chapels in the
workmen's village at el Amarna with special reference to Deir el-Medina and other sites.
London : Kegan Paul International, 1991.
3. Strudwick, Nigel and Helen: Thebes in Egypt : a guide to the tombs and temples of
ancient Luxor
London : British Museum Press, 1999.
4. McDowell, A.G.: Village life in ancient Egypt : laundry lists and love songs
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999.
5. Pharaoh's workers : the villagers of Deir el-Medina / edited by Leonard H. Lesko
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1994.
6. Ventura, Raphael: Living in a city of the dead : a selection of topographical and
administrative terms in the documents of the Theban necropolis
Freiburg (Schweiz) : Universitatsverlag, 1986.
7. Černý, Jaroslav: Le culte d’Amenophis 1er chez les ouvriers de la nécropole thébaine,
BIFAO 27 (1927).
Temples
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The temple stands on the terrace above the Ptolemaic temple enclosure. This temple
was dedicated to Amenhotep I (1551-1524 BC) and his mother Ahmose Nefertari, who
were both deified by the villagers. The original structure was a small one and little
remains of it. Many of the walls surrounding the site are later accretions.
The temple of Amenhotep I
Representation of the deified Pharaoh
Amenhotep I
New Kingdom, 20th dynasty, 1152-1145 BC.
From Thebes, Inherkau's tomb TT 359 at Deir
el-Medina
Painted plaster
Inv.-No.ÄM 2061
Amenhotep I is shown wearing a blue cap-wig,
with a uraeus on its front. It is topped with a
sun-disc. Amenhotep holds a crookand a flail,
symbols of royalty, in his right hand. He holds
an
ankh, symbol of life, in his left hand. The
king is shown wearing the classic
shendjyt-kilt,
and a longer see-through linen garment.
Representation of the deified queen Ahmose-Nefertari
New Kingdom, 20th dynasty, 1152-1145 BC
From Thebes, Inherkau's tomb TT 359 at Deir el-Medina
Painted plaster
Inv.-No.ÄM 2060
Ahmose-Nefertari wears a flowing, pleated dress, typical in
representations of elite women of the Ramesside period (about
1295-1069 BC) rather than the period during which the Queen
was alive. On her head she wears the vulture head-dress of
the goddess Mut, consort of the god Amun of Thebes,
surmounted by a sun-disc and ostrich plumes. The cobra on her
crown and the flail in her hand indicate her royal status. The
lotus blossom was often held by deceased women, thought to be
representing rebirth. The black colour of Ahmose-Nefertari's
skin does not reflect her true coloration, but may symbolise
regeneration.
Petrie Museum, UCL UC33258
Queen Ahmose-Nefertari
Possibly from Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty, 1295-1186 BC
Limestone
Black ink with traces of the preliminary sketch
in red
Upper part of a figure of Queen
Ahmose-Nefertari facing left. She wears a
long tripartite wig and the Vulture headdress.
Dating of the ostrakon takes into consideration
the fact that Queen Ahmose-Nefertari was
represented as wearing th "Vulture" headdress
after she was deified in the Ramesside Period.
Height: 11.8 cm
Width: 13.5 cm
Petrie Museum, UCL UC14379
Limestone fragment
Possibly from Deir el-Medina
Ramesside Period (1295-1069 BC)
Limestone
Height: 20.5 cm
Width: 14.5 cm
Fragment from a tomb. In the lower left side of the
fragment there is an upper part of a royal head and
face with uraeus on the forehead. Above the head
there is a cartouche of Ahmose-Nefertari, the queen
of Ahmose I (1570-1546 BC), the mother of
Amenhotep I (1551-1524 BC).  
Petrie Museum, UCL UC14223
Stele of Kaha
Probably from Deir el-Medina
20th dynasty (1186-1069 BC)
Limestone
Height: 20 cm
Width: 12.7 cm
This is a right-hand part of a framed stele of
Kaha. It shows the deified Amenhotep I
(1551-1524 BC) standing to the left, holding a
spear in his left hand. The two cartouches next to
him identify him as Amenhotep Djeserkare. To his
right there is a priest standing in adoring position.
The priest's name is written in a hieroglyphic
inscription above his head.
The cult of Amenhotep I

From the 18th dynasty onwards, the main focus of religious worship of the population of Deir el-Medina
was the cult of Amenhotep I, particularly in the form of "Lord of the village", together with his mother
Ahmose-Nefertari. Jaroslav Černý pointed out, that at Deir el-Medina existed several forms of
this cult corresponding to the statues, each of which had a particular name, housed in the various
sanctuaries established there (Černý,1927,182).
Amenhotep I Djeserkare (1525-1504 BC) was the second pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He was probably
still very young when he came to the throne, so it is likely that his mother, queen Ahmose-Nefertari (c.
1570-1505 BC) served as regent for the first part of his reign. They are jointly credited with the
foundation of Deir el-Medina, where they consequently enjoyed personal religious cults until the late
Ramesside Period.
Apart from the modest temple dedicated primarily to the couple, they were secondary honourands in the
chapels of other gods as well.
The deified king had many feasts during the year at which his statue was carried in procession by the
wab
priests. These activities were acts of piety towards the divinised mother and son and were consistently and
exclusively performed by the workmen of the village (Ventura 1986, p. 63). The feasts were fairly regular
events and were usually part of religious festivals connected with the cult. One festival involved the
carrying of Amenhotep I's statue into the Valley of the Kings, another may have been associated with the
anniversary of his death. The deified king was called upon to resolve disputes, particularly the ones
involving properties. In these oracles, the image of the god, Amenhotep I, responded positively or
negatively to questions put to him. Since the priests of this particular cult came from the workmen
themselves, the response would be some form of consensus between the priests who were carrying the
divine image. The god's oracular pronouncements, however they were made, had great weight, and his
processions were a high point in Deir el-Medina's life.  
The textual and representational evidence associated with their cult at Deir el-Medina may be seen in cult
statues, votive stelae, libation basins, paintings and inscriptions in tombs and on ostraka. More than fifty
of the Theban tombs of private individuals include inscriptions mentioning Ahmose-Nefertari's name.
Below are samples of representations of the deified couple. All originate from Deir el-Medina and are now
parts of the museum collections.
Egyptian Museum, Turin
Stele of Parahotep to Amun-Re, Meretseger and Amenhotep I
From Deir el-Medina
19th dynasty
Painted limestone
Round-topped
Meretseger was the goddess of the pyramidal peak which lies
above the Theban necropolis. Her usual name was "she who
loves silence". She was primarily worshipped by the workmen of
Deir el-Medina.
Cat. 1451 / RCGE 5742
Egyptian Museum, Turin, cat. 1452 = CGT 50034
Stele of Amenemope
From Deir el-Medina
Beginning of the 19th dynasty, reign of Seti I and
Rameses II
Limestone
The stele is dedicated to Amenhotep I and
Ahmose-Nefertari by the 'Servant in the Place of
Truth' Amenemope and Amennakht.
Height: 30 cm
Width: 20 cm
Egyptian Museum, Turin, C1452
Stele of Amenhotep I before Amun
From Deir el-Medina
18th dynasty
Limestone
The pharaoh holds a prisoner by his hair in
front of the god Amun who holds a scimitar of
typical half-moon shape in his hand.
Photography © Museo Egizio, Turin.
Photo by Su Bayfield, 2008
Photography © Museo Egizio, Turin.
Photo by Su Bayfield, 2008
Photography © Museo Egizio, Turin.
Photo by Su Bayfield, 2008
The temple consisted of an outer
and inner hall, pronaos and shrine.
Two steps led into the pronaos
which had been decorated with a
wall-surround of red, white and
black horizontal bands. Nothing
remains of the royal couple, to
whom the temple was dedicated,
who were shown seated on a
throne. Numerous statues were
found at the site by Drovetti,
Schiaparelli, Bruyère and Baraize.
Photography © 2009 Andre du Toit, S. Africa
Photography © 2007  Lenka Peacock
Counter
Although not originating from Deir el-Medina, the two next images have very close links to the
inhabitants of the workmen's village. The  royal pair deified by them is represented here. Both
fragments come from the Theban tomb of Kynebu, a priest "over the secrets of the estate of Amun".
He held office during the reign of Ramesses VIII towards the end of the New Kingdom (around
1550-1070 BC).
Photography © Neues Museum, Berlin
Photo by Lenka Peacock, 2011
Photography © Neues Museum, Berlin
Photo by Lenka Peacock, 2011
Photography © Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL
Photo by Lenka Peacock
Photography © Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL
Photo by Lenka Peacock
Photography © Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL
Photo by Lenka Peacock