Tem (queen)

Tem was an ancient Egyptian queen consort of the 11th Dynasty, a wife of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II and the mother of Mentuhotep III. She was buried in Tomb DBXI.15 in Deir el-Bahari, in her husband's mortuary complex.[1]

Era: Middle Kingdom
(2055–1650 BC)
Egyptian hieroglyphs

She outlived her husband and was buried during her son's reign. It is likely that she was of commoner origin, as there is no evidence in her grave that points to a royal origin. She is only named on her sarcophagus and on an offering table. Her titles are "King's beloved wife" (ḥmt-nỉswt mrỉỉ.t=f), King's Mother" (mwt-nỉswt), Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt (mwt-nỉswt-bỉt), Great of Sceptre (wr.t-ḥt=s).[2]

Her tomb was discovered in 1859, and was fully excavated in 1968 by D. Arnold.


  1. Dodson, Aidan, Hilton, Dyan. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05128-3 (2004), p.89
  2. Grajetzki, Wolfram. Ancient Egyptian Queens: A Hieroglyphic Dictionary. London: Golden House Publications. ISBN 0-9547218-9-6 (2005), p.28