Egypt Hatshepsuts Temple; Memorial Temple of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari, West Thebes, Egypt
Senemut (sometimes spelled Senmut, Senenmut or Senmout) was an 18th dynasty Ancient Egyptian architect and government official. Controversial evidence indicates that he may also have been the lover of the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut.
Senemut was of low birth, born to literate provincial class parents, Ramose and Hatnofer (or "Hatnefret") of Iuny (modern Armant). Much more is known about Senemut than many other non-royal Egyptians because the joint tomb of his parents has been discovered and preserved, the construction of which Senemut supervised himself. Senemut first enters the historical record on a national level as the "Steward of the God's Wife" (Hatshepsut) and "Steward of the King's Daughter" (Neferure). Some Egyptologists place Senemut's entry into royal service during the reign of Thutmos I, but it is far more likely that it occurred during either the reign of Thutmose II or while Hatshepsut was still regent and not pharaoh. After Hatshepsut was crowned pharaoh, Senemut was given more prestigious titles and became high steward of the king.
Senemut supervised the quarrying, transport, and erection of twin obelisks, at the time the tallest in the world, at the entrance to the Temple of Karnak. One still stands today; the other broke in two and toppled centuries ago. Karnak's Red Chapel, or Chapelle Rouge, was intended as a barque shrine and may have originally stood between the two obelisks.
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