Setnet-Inheret, Priestess of Het-Hert

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Funerary stela of Setnet-Inheret

Senet-Inheret's name means "Maidservant of Ini-heret [Onuris]." Ini-heret is a Name of Netjer associated with warriors and hunters who later became syncretized with Shu and Heru-wer. His consort is the lion-headed Mekhit, sometimes identified with Sekhmet and Tefnut.  His center of worship was at Tjeni (Thinis, or This), near the important religious center of Abydos.  The necropolis at Naga ed-Deir, where Setnet-Inheret's stele was found, served this area from the Predynastic Period to the Middle Kingdom.

Senet-Inheret's husband, Heni, commissioned this funerary stela for his beloved wife. He held the titles of Count, King's Sole Companion and Lector Priest. Senet-Inheret was both a hemet-Netjer of Het-Hert and "King's Only Jewel," a title which was predominant during the First Intermediate Period. She was also an "imyt-weret" priestess, which was the designation for a priestly phyle. We have records of many priestesses of Het-Hert from Naga ed-Deir during this same time period.  Setnet-Inheret holds a mirror with a mask of Het-Hert on its handle.  Mirrors are associated with Het-Hert as Mistress of Beauty and were also used in ritual dances in honor of the Goddess. 

The text on Setnet-Inheret's stela reads as follows:

"An offering which the King gives [and] Yinepu upon His mountain, imy-ut, the Lord of the Sacred Land: an invocation offering of bread to the King's Only Jewel, hemet-Netjer of Het-Hert, the revered one, beloved of Het-Hert, Beautiful of Favor more than multitudes [lit. pillars (?)], imyt-weret in the midst of the noblewomen, Setnet-Inheret. That which was made by the Count, Sole Companion, the Lector Priest Heni.  A thousand of bread and beer, a thousand of cattle, a thousand fowls, a thousand of everything for the Sole [Royal Ornament], the hemet-netjer priestess of Het-Hert, his beloved wife, Setnet-Inheret."

Note: imy-ut is both a symbol and a title of Yinepu, meaning "He who is in the place of embalming."

References for image

Limestone stela from Naga ed-Deir now in the University of California at Berkeley's Robert H. Lowrie Museum, 1st Intermediate Period or early Middle Kingdom; in Richard Fazzini's Images for Eternity: Egyptian Art from Berkeley and Brooklyn, p. 39.


Dunham, Dows, Naga-ed-Dêr Stelae of the First Intermediate Period, 1937, no. 31, pp. 44, 45, 124.
Fazzini, Richard, Images for Eternity: Egyptian Art from Berkeley and Brooklyn, p. 38-39.
Galvin, Marianne, The Priestesses of Hathor in the Old Kingdom and the 1st Intermediate Period, c. 1981.
Lutz, Henry Frederick, Egyptian Tomb Steles and offering Stones of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology o the University of California, Leipzig, 1927, Tafeln 14, 27, 20, 38.
Ranke, Hermann, Die Ägyptische Personennamen, Band I, p. 280, nr. 5.
Schenkel, W., Frühmittelaegyptische Studien, 1962, p. 101.
Schenkel, W., Memphis, "Herakleopolis, Theben: Die Epigraphischen Zeugnisse der 7.-11. Dynastie Ägyptens," Aegyptologische Abhandlungen 12 (Wiedsbaden, 1965), no. 300, pp. 198-199.

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