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The Ancient Egyptian artisan Qen lived in Deir el-Medina on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, during the reigns of Ramesses II. His titles included Servant in the Place of Truth, meaning that he work on the excavation and decoration of nearby royal tombs. He was buried in a tomb in the village necropolis. [1]


Qen was a son of Thonufer (or Tjanufer) (Chiseller of Amun in the Khenu) and Lady Maetnefert. In the tomb two wives are mentioned:

  • Nefertari was the mother of a daughter named Taqari and a son named Merymery (sometimes called Meryre). Nefertari may also have been the mother of a son named Huy. In TT4 Nefertari is said to be Qen's dear and always favorite sister, Lady of the house and favored one of Hathor. Nefertari is the daughter of Qen And Wadjetrenpet. A stela from Deir el-Medina (no. 320) has an interesting text with Qen stating that: "I am a man who went on oath falsely, because of the lady of the house Nefertari, justified. The divine wrath befell (me).." It's not clear what Qen was untruthful about as the rest of the text is damaged.
  • Henutmehyt was the mother of Tjau-en-Huy, Kewer and Pendua(u).[2]

Qen had at least five (possibly six) children:[2]

  • Taqari is the only known daughter. She is depicted before Qen and Nefertari and was likely Nefertari's daughter. Taqari is shown offering ointment to her parents in TT4. In another scene she is depicted as a female mourner before her parents.
  • Merymery (or Meryre) is a sculptor. he is said to be a son of Nefertari. He is shown censing/libating before the bier in the funeral procession.
  • Pendua(u) is a son of Henutmehyt. He takes part in the funeral procession and is shown with a naos. A record of a bequest of slaves from Qen to Pendua has been preserved. Qen lists ca. ten slaves he had inherited form his mother Maatnofret. Qen states that the slaves must go to his son Pendua "who has been good to him" and not to any of his other children.
  • Tjau-en-Huy (or Tjau-en-Anuy) was a son of Henutmehyt. He is depicted several times in TT4 and participates in the funeral procession. He is depicted on a Stela now in Turin (N 50074).
  • Huy may be another name for Tjau-en-huy or another son. Huy is mentioned on a stela now in the Copenhagen National Museum (B.3.) The stela is dedicated to Qen and Nefertari, and Huy may be another son of Nefertari. The Turin stela mentions both Tjau-en-huy and Huy.
  • Kawer is a son of Henutmehyt and is mentioned in TT4. Kawer also appears on the stela form Turin, together with his brother Tjau-en-huy.


  1. ^ Porter and Moss. Topographical Bibliography I part 1 (2nd ed). 
  2. ^ a b K.A. Kitchen, Ramesside inscriptions Vol 3: Translated and annotated. Notes and comments, 2000