Secrets of Ancient Egypt: Senenmut the Astronomer
Secret of Anubis - Ancient Astronomy
By WindBlowerTM

Senenmut the Astronomer

The Greatest Astronomer, Senenmut

He is proven to be a genius of his time, to this day, his monuments still stand as a perfection of the reign of Hatshepsut. Senenmut was her closet friend as well as being her chief architect.

Who was Senenmut?
Who were Senenmut's parents?
Valley of the Nobles - The Unused Tomb
Tomb of Senenmut
Senenmut the Astronomer

Hatshepsut's most devoted friend at the end of her reign was Sen-en-mut, he was also her daughter Neferu-Ra's teacher. 
He rose himself from a poor boy to be a high official in the ancient world. 

Who was Senenmut?

Sen-en-mut, literary means ‘Brother of the mother.’ Best known as Hatshepsut’s chief architect as mentioned, but also know under the title Steward of the King's Daughter. 

He came from a modest family, but was able to rise himself to the highest place in ancient Egypt, working as a official inside the royal courts. 

His image is also found 70 times, in one of Hatshepsut’s temples.
He clearly proved his diverse abilities, Being an outstanding teacher, as well as dealing with huge building projects.

Another title of his was ‘Director of the Domain of Amun’ which connects him to the temple of Amun in Karnak, read more about this below under the astronomer headline.

Who were Senenmut’s parents?

It was not a big tomb, only one room, but completely filled with ancient artifacts. Two sarcophagus* were found, one male and one female, it was Sen-en-mut’s parents. 

For the first time in over 1400 years, their names would be uttered by the living once more, they were Ramose and Hatnefret.

Senenmut probably felt more affection for his mother than for his father this can be suspected because of the tombs content. First of, it would seem that there was no canopic chest* for his father, but his mothers canopic chest was there.

They proceeded to open the sarcophagus of Ramose, Senenmut’s father, but to their surprise it contained the skeleton bones of him instead of a mummified body. 

The loose bandages around his bones, revealed an ink mark with an inscription “Neferu-Ra” the name of Hatshepsut’s daughter, hereby linking this tomb directly to the family of Hatshepsut. 

Hatnefret, the mother of Sen-en-mut had a beautiful detailed sarcophagus, and her face was covered by a gold foil. 

Upon her bandages were found the cursive hieroglyphics inscription;
‘Good Goddess, Maat – Ka- Ra, loved by Amun, may she live forever.’ 

It would seem that everything in the tomb actually belonged to Senenmut’s mother, Hatnefret. Not only did they come to find that this monument was built by Senenmut, but also that he had his parents buried beneath it, as a tribute to them.

Valley of the Nobles - The Unused Tomb

While archeologist's were collecting objects from the 18. Dynasty (18. Dynasty was between 1570 BC - 1293 BC.) They came across objects with Hatshepsut's name engraved on them. 

But some of the objects also bore another name, the name Senenmut.

It was quickly known, that this Senenmut was not a part of the royal family (pharaohs family line), but seem to have come from a commoners family. This idea was confirmed two times at one place. 

In 1930 H.E Winlock opened a monument (also known as TT71) which lies on the hill called 'Sheikh abd el-Qurna,' when exactly this monument was discovered or by who, is unknown.

It is presumed to have been discovered one hundred years before its opening.

At first glace it seems like a primitive house of some sort, wholes revealing windows and doors. Closer inspections of the monument, showed a similarity to Hatshepsut’s Great temple at Deir el-Bahari, but in a much smaller scale. 

The monument was cut into the cliffs behind it, and a forecourt in front of it. 

Archeologists could see that the monument was not completed, when the ancient Egyptian worker had stopped working on the site.
While A. Lansing and W. Hayes were excavating in 1936 and researching this monument, they came across a completely intact tomb.    

Senenmut the Astronomer

This is an important tomb, because not only is it from the time of Hatshepsut, but this is also the location of the oldest detailed astronomical chart ever found. 

The Tomb offers a unique insight, into how they viewed the dark heavens in those days. 

the Decans can be seen in their forms at that time, There are 36 decans, and they are stars. In those days, they were seen as 36 weekly stars. 

There is also 12 big circles in one half of the images, which corresponds to the half of a day 12 hours. If we count the rooms inside each circle, we come to find that there are 24 rooms, corresponding to the total hours of one day. 

So this could also indicate that the 24 hours in the 12 circles, are 12 days. Much research has been made into this chart, and to this day, it is not completely deciphered.

Personal note

That it was Amun that he chose to service is probably a conscious choice. In his time period of around Hatshepsut’s time (1489 B.C) it was the astrological age of the Ram, known in ancient Egypt as Amun (there are three and maybe more forms of Ram’s). 

Even more interesting is the fact that the ancient Greeks translated Amun as Jupiter. In our modern time we know this ‘combination’ (or the observation of Jupiter) of planets, as the star of Bethlehem (also see Constellation of PISCES ) , Jupiter was the planet that the three kings followed. 

This planet has always been a significant planet, going back to ancient days. We just need to look at the year 1489 B.C where Jupiter was in the sign of Aries, but in this case, being even more precise, because it was also the astrological age of Aries.

Not only that, if I am not that mistaken then Jupiter is in conjunction with the Midheaven off course the events surrounding the Jupiter placement in 7 B.C are more significant than that. 

But then in 7 B.C it wasn’t the astrological age of Aries/the Ram, so they have two huge differences. 

- Just something which I thought was interesting.


Sarcophagus: Also known as the ‘coffin’ where they placed the mummified body in. The word ‘sarcophagus’ is Greek and actually means ‘flesh-eating’. Usually a sarcophagus/coffin is filled with texts, which is referred to as the ‘coffin texts’. 

canopic chest:
 Also known as canopic jars, which are four vessels that were used for the organs of the deceased. 

 a door in the tomb, which was to be used by the deceased's soul. 

Resources (Just some books) 

Hatshepsut by Amr Hussein Chronicle of the Pharaohs by Peter A. Clayton The Complete Valley of the Kings by Nicholas Reeves and Richard H. Wilkinson Again I could not post everything there is to know about Senenmut, like Hatshepsut their lives could each fill many books, but I can give you some links for further reading. - Website by Dr. Karl H. Leser (Iufaa) - Also visit the Sen-en-mut project

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