he High Priest of Amun or First Prophet of Amun (hem netjer en tepy) was the highest-ranking priest in the priesthood of the Ancient Egyptian god Amun. The first high priests of Amun appear in the New Kingdom, at the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
The priesthood of Amun rose in power during the early Eighteenth dynasty through significant tributes to the god Amun by ruler such as Hatshepsut and more importantly Thutmose III. The Amun priesthood in Thebes had four high-ranking priests:
The high priest of Amun at Karnak (hm netjer tepy en Amun), also referred to as the first prophet of Amun.
The second priest of Amun at Karnak (hm netjer sen-nu en Amun), also referred to as the second prophet of Amun.
The third priest of Amun at Karnak (hm netjer khemet-nu en Amun), also referred to as the third prophet of Amun.
The fourth priest of Amun at Karnak (hm netjer fed-nu en Amun), also referred to as the fourth prophet of Amun.
The power of the Amun priesthood was temporarily curtailed during the Amarna period. A high priest named Maya is recorded in year 4 of Akhenaten. Akhenaten has the name of Amun removed from monuments during his reign (as well as the names of several other deities). After Akhenaten’s death Amun is restored to his place of prominence among the cults in Egypt. The young pharaoh Tutankhaten changes his name to Tutankhamen to signal the restoration of the old god to his former place of prominence.
The High Priest of Amun in Thebes was appointed by the King. It was not uncommon for the position to be held by dignitaries who held additional posts in the pharaoh’s administration. Several of the high priests from the time of Ramesses II also served as Vizier.
At the end of the New Kingdom, the 20th dynasty priesthood of Amun is for a large part dominated by Ramessesnakht. His son Amenhotep eventually succeeded his father and found himself in conflict with the Vicreoy of Kush, Panehesy. Panehesy took his troops North and besieged Thebes. After this period generals by the name of Herihor and Pianchi served as High Priest. Candida Mandarino, Boston, MA.