From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Hemon" redirects here. For the Bosnian-American writer, see Aleksandar Hemon.
Statue of Hemiunu at the Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim, Germany. His feet rest on columns of hieroglyphs, painted in yellow, red, brown, and black.
Native name Hm-ỉwnw
Priest of Iunu
Hm iwn w
Occupation Vizier
Title Prince of Egypt
Religion Ancient Egyptian religion
Parent(s) Nefermaat and Itet

Hemiunu (fl. 2570 BC) is believed to be the architect of the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt.[1][2] As vizier, Hemiunu was one the most important members of the court and responsible for all the royal works.


Hemiunu was a son of Prince Nefermaat and his wife Itet,[3] a grandson of Sneferu and relative of Khufu, the Old Kingdom pharaoh. Hemiunu had three sisters and many brothers.

In his tomb he is described as a hereditary prince, count, sealer of the king of Lower Egypt (jrj-pat HAtj-a xtmw-bjtj) and on a statue found in his serdab (and now located in Hildesheim), Hemiunu is given the titles: king's son of his body, chief justice and vizier, greatest of the five of the House of Thoth (sA nswt n XT=f tAjtj sAb TAtj wr djw pr-DHwtj).[4]

As Vizier he succeeded Kanefer, his uncle, and his father Nefermaat.[5]


His tomb lies close to Khufu's pyramid, and contains reliefs of his image. Some stones of his mastaba are marked with dates referring to Khufu's reign.[6] His statue[7] can be found at the Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim, Germany.[3] This statue is scheduled to be loaned for the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (as of August 2016 the Egyptian Museum has not yet been opened, and the statue is still on display in Hildesheim). The statue was found with the head and part of the right arm broken, and only the body intact. The statue's head has been restored, as it had been damaged around its eyes.[8]

The seated statue - extremely well-preserved apart from the minor damage mentioned above - is notable for its unusual realism, with Hemiunu's features only lightly stylized, and clearly based on his actual appearance. His unidealized body is frankly shown as flabby, with a notable accumulation of fat in the pectoral region. This contrasts with the more usual virile representation of male subjects in royal portraiture in this and most succeeding periods of Ancient Egyptian art.


  1. ^ De Camp, p. 35
  2. ^ Shaw, p. 89
  3. ^ a b Arnold, p. 107
  4. ^ http://gizapyramids.org/ page about G 4000, the tomb of Hemiunu
  5. ^ Cambridge, p. 166
  6. ^ Strudwick, p. 157
  7. ^ Tiradritti, p. 13
  8. ^ Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)


  • Dieter Arnold, The Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture, I.B.Tauris 2002
  • Nigel C. Strudwick, Texts from the Pyramid, SBL 2005
  • Cambridge Ancient History by Cambridge University Press 2000
  • Francesco Tiradritti, Arte egizia, Giunti 2002
  • Lyon Sprague De Camp, Catherine Crook De Camp, Ancient Ruins and Archaeology, Doubleday 1964
  • Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press 2003

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Hemiunu at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 29°58′46″N 31°07′48″E / 29.97944°N 31.13000°E / 29.97944; 31.13000