The autobiography of Ahmose, son of Abana
General Information

The east wall of the tomb of Ahmose son of Abana covered with hieroglyphic text, leaving only minimal space for the images is the first part of the famous autobiography of Ahmose (31 lines).The left portion of this wall is now mostly destroyed by the opening up of the entrance to the burial chamber, then a life sized image of Ahmose. The south wall contains the second part of the autobiography (8 lines).

Type Tomb
Type of Script Hieroglyphic
Discovery Place El Kab - Aswan - Egypt
Historical Period The Eighteenth Dynasty – The New Kingdom
General Comments

· Ahmose-son-of-Abana served as head of the king's sailors under three successive sovereigns: Ahmosis, Amenhotep I and Thutmosis I · The present El Kab corresponds to the ancient town of Nekhen, once a very important city, powerful capital of the 3rd nome of Upper Egypt.

Inscriptions on the Monument
( If the Hieroglyphic,Demotic or Hieratic text is not appearing clear, install this file )

Hr(y) Xnyt iaH-ms sA ibAnA mAa-xrw Dd.f Dd.i rmT nbt d.i Hswt xpr(w)t n.f iwa.kwi m nbw sp 7 xft-Hr-n tA r-Dr.f Hmw Hmwt r-mitt iry sAH.kwi m AHwt aSAw(t) wrt iw rn n qn m irt.n.f nn Htm.(w) m tA pn Dt Dd.f r-ntt ir.n.i xprw.i m dmi n nxb iw it.i m waw n nsw-bit sqnn-ra maA-xrw bAbA sA r-int rn.f aHa.n.i Hr irt waw r-DbA.f m pA dpt n(t) pA smA m-hAw nb tAwy np-pHtt-ra mAa-xrw iw.i m Sri n irt.i Hmt iw sDr.i m smt Snw xr m-xt grg.n.i pr aHa.n.i iT.kwi r pA dpt mHty Hr qnn.i wn.xr.i Hr Sms ity anx wDA snb Hr rdwy.i m-xt swtwt.f Hr wr(ry)t.f iw Hr dmi n Hwt-wart wn.xr.i Hr qnt Hr rdwy.i m-bAH Hm.f aHa.n.i dhn.kwi r xa-m-mn-nfr Hr aHA Hr mw m pA Ddkw n Hwt-wart aHa.n xAfa.n.i in.i Drt smi.T(w) n wHmw-nsw Hr rdt n.i nbw n qnt aHa.n wHmw aHA m st tn Hr wHm xAfa im in.i Drt Hr rdt n.i nbw n qnt m wHm-a Hr aHA m tA kmt rsy n dmi pn aHa.n in.n.i sqr-anx s hA.n.i r pA mw mk m mH Hr tA wAt pA dmi DA.n.i Xr.f Hr mw smi.T(w) n wHmw-nsw mk iwa.i nbw n qnt Hr sn-nw sy Hr HAq Hwt-wart Hr int HAqt im s 1 st-Hmt 3 dmD r tp 4 Hm.f Hr rdt st n.i r Hmw Hr Hmst Hr SA-r-HA-nA m rnpwt 6 Hr HAq.s aHa.n in.n.i HAqt im st-Hmt 2 Drt Hr rdt n.i nbw n qnt mk rd.t(w) n.i HAqt.i r Hmw xr m-xt smA.n Hm.f mntyw sTt Hr xntyt r xnt-Hn-nfr r sksk iwntyw styw Hm.f Hr irt Xat aAt aHa.n in.n.i HAqt im s 2 anx Drt 3 Hr iwa.i m nbw Hr sn-nw sy mk rd.t(w) n.i Hmt 2 nat m xd in Hm.f ib.f Aw.(w) m qnt nxt iT.n.f rsyw mHtyw aHa.n AAtA iw.(w) n rsy stkn Saw.f m(w)t.f nTrw SmAw Hr Am.f gm.t(w).f in Hm.f m ti-nt-tA-a Hm.f Ht intw.f m sqr-anx rmT.f nb(t) m is-HAq aHa.n in.n.i m(a)gA 2 m mH m pA dpt n AAtA Hr rdt n.i tp 5 Hr dniw Aht stAt 5 m niwt.i irw n tA Xnyt r-Aw.s m-mitt Hr Xnt nsw-bit Dsr-kA-ra mAa-xrw iw.f m xntyt r k(A)S r swsx tASw kmt Hm.f Hr sqr iwnty pf m-Hr-ib mSa.f inw m gwAgwA nn wtxw m dy Hr gs mi iwtyw xpr.(w) ist wi m tp n mSa.n iw aHA.n.i r-wn-mAa mAn Hm.f qnt.i in.i Drt 2 ms n Hm.f Hr HHy rmT.f mnmnt.f aHa.n in.n.i sqr-anx ms n Hm.f in.i Hm.f r hrw 2 r kmt m Xnmt Hrw Hr iwa.i n nbw aHa.n in.n.i Hmt 2 m HAq Hrw-(r) nn n ms.n.i n Hm.f Hr rdt.i r aHAwty n HqA Hr Xnt nsw-bit aA-xpr-kA-ra iw.f m xntyt r xnt-Hn-nfr r sswn HAay xt xAswt r dr bs n a-xAst Hr qnt m-bAH.f m pA mw bin m pA sAsA pA aHaw Hr tA pnayt Hr rdt.i r Hr(y) Xnyt Hm.f anx wDA snb ...... Hm.f r.s mi Aaby wdt Hm.f Ssr.f tp mn m Snbt nt xr(w) pf nn ...... bdS.n nsrt.f irw im. m At xbyt inw m sqr-anxw nat m xd in Hm.f xAswt nb(w)t m Ammt.f iwnty pf Xs m sxd m HAt bik n Hm.f dw r tA m ipt-swt m-xt nn wDA.(f) r rTnw r iat ib.f xt xAswt spr Hm.f r nhArynA gmt.f Hm.f anx wDA snb xr(w) pf Ts.f skw Hm.f Hr irt SAT aAt nn tnw m sqr-anxw inn Hm.f m nxtw.f istt wi m tp n mSa.n mAn Hm.f qnn.i wn.n.i wryt ssm.s nty Hr.s m sqr-anx ms n Hm.f Hr iw(a).i nbw Hr sn-nw sy tni.kwi pH.n.i iAwy Hswt.i mi ••• http.i m Hrt irt.n.i Ds.i ••• m bHy wHm rd.t(w) n.i in nsw-bit ••• sTAt 60 m HADAa dmD sTAt imy-rn.f n nA n Hmw Hmwt n HAqt rd n.i


The admiral, Ahmose, son of Abana, justified (lit. "true of voice", thus "deceased"); he says: "I speak you, oh all you people. I am going to let you know the honours which have befallen me. I have been rewarded with gold seven times, in the presence of the entire country, with servants and maidservants also. I was endowed with very numerous pieces of land. A man's renown depends according to what he has done and won't perish in this land, forever." He speaks as follows: "I grew in the city of Nekheb (present day El Kab). My father was in command (in the army) of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sekenen-Re (Sekenenre Ta'a II, Theban Prince, next-to-last king of the XVIIth Dynasty, about 1600 B.C.), justified; Baba, son of Ra-inet, was his name. I became a commander in his place, on the ship "Pa Sema" ("The Fighting Bull"), in the time of the Lord of the Two Lands, Neb-Pehty-Re (son of Sekenen-Re–Ta'a, and founder of the 18th Dynasty, about 1580–1558 B.C.), justified. I was still very young; I was not married and I slept in a net hammock. After I had established a household, I was taken to the northern fleet, because of my courage. I accompanied the sovereign, Life-Prosperity-Health, on dry land, following on foot when he was on his chariot. When we laid siege to the city of Avaris, and I had the opportunity to prove my valour, on foot, in the presence of his Majesty. I was then promoted to the ship "khaemmennefer" ("That which shines in Memphis"); we then fought on water, in the Pa-djed-ku canal of Avaris (which shows that the fighting took place on land and on water). I took spoils, I brought back a hand (to prove he had killed an enemy, the soldier would cut off a hand and bring it back so as to count the dead). When the fact was reported to the royal herald, I was given the gold of valour. Then they fought again in this place and I made even more spoils: I carried off a hand, and I was awarded the gold of valour all over again. Then there was fighting in Egypt, to the south of this city; there, I carried off a prisoner, a man. I went down to the water, see, he was brought back as if he was captured on the way from the city (Ahmose brought back his prisoner, therefore, as if he had been on dry land): I crossed the water while carrying him, and it was reported to the royal herald; then I was rewarded, once again, with gold. Then Avaris was plundered; I brought back spoils from there: a man, three women, total: four persons; his Majesty gave them to me as servants. Then Sharuhen (a stronghold to the south of the present Palestine where the Hyksos had retreated) was besieged for three years; His Majesty then plundered it; from there I brought spoils: two women and a hand. Then I was assigned the gold of valour all over again, while the captives were given to me as servants. After his Majesty had slain the nomads of Asia, he sailed south, toward Khent-hen-nefer (to the south of the second cataract), to destroy the Nubians. He made a great slaughter among them. I carried away spoils from there: two living men and three hands; I was rewarded once again with gold, and two women were given to me. His Majesty then sailed upstream (northwards), his heart rejoicing in valour and victory, because he had conquered those of the south and those of the north. Then Aata headed southwards (to Egypt), his fate brought his downfall. The gods of Upper Egypt grasped him. His Majesty found him at the waters of Tinet-taa and took him as a living captive, while all his people were as plunder. Then I took for myself, two young soldiers as captives, from the boat of Aata. I was given five persons and I was given a portion of land - five arouras (1 aroura = 2700 m²) - in my town. It was done in the same way for the whole crew. Then that enemy Teti-an (an Egyptian name) came; he had gathered around him of the malcontents. His Majesty slew him, and his troops were as if they had never existed (meaning annihilated). I was given three persons, and five arouras of land in my town. Then I transported, by boat, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Djeser-Ka-Re, justified, when he travelled south to Kush, to enlarge the borders of Egypt. His Majesty then smote this Nubianin the middle of his army, and they were taken in shackles, so they could not escape, those who fled were knocked aside, as if they had never existed. Behold, I was at the head of our army (it is the only mention in all the Egyptian historic texts of "our army", giving a real patriotic feeling); I fought truly well, and his Majesty noted my valour. I brought back two hands, I offered them to his Majesty. Then his people and his herds were sought after. I then carried off a living captive, which I offered to his Majesty. I returned his Majesty, in two days, to Egypt, from "Upper Well". Then I was rewarded with gold, I brought back two female slaves as booty - apart from those I had offered to his Majesty. They then granted upon me (the title) "Warrior of the Ruler". Then I transported, by boat, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Aa-Kheper-Ka-Re, justified, when he travelled south to Khent-hen-nefer, to repress a civil war throughout the foreign lands and to repulse an invasion from the desert region. I was brave in his presence, in difficult waters, in the hauling of the ship over the cataract. So they granted to me (the title) Admiral (lit. "chief of the sailors). Then his Majesty, L.P.H., (the rest of this passage is mutilated: but, the king probably learned of the existence of a new revolt, nearby). At this his Majesty became furious like a panther; his Majesty shot, his first arrow remained in the chest of this enemy. Then those (again, a damage area: but, probably "the adversaries turn and flee"), weak before his uraeus. In a moment, a slaughter was made among them, and their families were taken as living prisoners. His Majesty journeyed north, all foreign lands being in his grasp, while this vile Nubian was hung, head down, at the prow of his Majesty's ship "Falcon", landing at Ipetsut (the Temple of Karnak). After this (his Majesty) proceeded to Retenu (northern Canaan), to take revenge (lit. to wash his heart) through the foreign countries. When his Majesty reached Naharina (to the North of Phoenicia), his Majesty, L.P.H., thought that this enemy had recruited troops (in preparation for battle). Then his Majesty made a great massacre of them, and one could not count the number of living prisoners which his Majesty brought from his victories. Behold, I was at the head of our army, and his Majesty saw my supremacy; I brought a chariot, its horse and he who was upon it as a living captive, as a gift to his Majesty. I was then rewarded with gold again. I became old, I reached a great age. My favours are as before ... and loved ... I will rest in the tomb which I made for myself. And so concludes the autobiography of this great soldier.

Scientific Publishing

A. Al-Ayedi, The Liberation War: The Expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt, (Ismailia, 2008), 88-96