Montuhotep Tepy-aa (Montuhotep I)

Montuhotep Tepy-aa (Montuhotep I, Montjuhotep I, Mentuhotep I) (“Montu is satisfied”) was a nomarch of Thebes during the Eleventh Dynasty (at the end of the First Intermediate Period and the beginning of the Middle Kingdom). He was the son of another nomarch of Thebes known as “Intef the Great, son of Iku”, whose name was recorded in several contemporary inscriptions. His name means “Montu is satisfied”. His Horus name was “Tepy-aa” (meaning “The ancestor”), but this was clearly added to his name after his death.

Although he is frequently recorded as the first ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty he is also regularly omitted from the Kings lists because he was a nomarch rather than a pharaoh. As a result he can be confused with Montuhotep Nebhetepre (Montuhotep II) who is sometimes called Montuhotep I. His name is recorded in the “Hall of Ancestors” at Karnak (constructed by Thuthmosis III) but he is not listed as a pharaoh on the lists of Abydos or Saqqara. There are a number of gaps in the Turin List so it is possible he was recorded there. He was given the title “itf nTr.w” (father of the god) indicating that although he was the father of a pharaoh, he was not considered to be a pharaoh himself.

Little is known about his rule. He built a temple to Montu at Tod (known as Djerty by the Egyptians and Tuphium by the Greeks) near Luxor. Unfortunately, nothing remains of this monument. It is likely that he was the father of Intef Sehertawyv (Intef I) who is also regularly listed as the first member of the Twelfth Dynasty.

  • Kathryn Bard (2008) An introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
  • Peter A Clayton (1994) Chronicle of the Pharaohs
  • S. Seidlmayer (2003) “The First Intermediate Period” in Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Edited by I Shaw
  • Nigel & Helen Strudwick (1999) Thebes in Egypt

Copyright J Hill 2015