Nakhtpaaten (Vizier)

Nakhtpaaten - sometimes called Nakht - was a vizier under Akhenaten and is known from his tomb and his house in Amarna.

Nakhtpaaten is not known form any monuments outside of Amarna. It may be that he was the successor of the Vizier Ramose, who was in office during the early years of Akhenaten based on the scenes in Ramose's tomb in Thebes. (Aldred) Once Akhenaten moved his court to Amarna (Akhet-Aten) however it is Nakhtpaaten we see serving as Vizier. His titles include: Hereditary prince, count, sealbearer, overseer of the city and vizier,and  overseer of the work projects in Akhet-Aten.

Nakhtpaaten as depicted in the tomb of Mahu in Amarna
(The Rock-tombs of Amarna Vol IV, Davies Plate XXIV)

In his tomb, the Chief of Police named Mahu is shown before a Vizier. The name of the Vizier has not survived, but this person is generally thought to be Nakhtpaaten. The Vizier is followed by another official who is called Heqanefer.

In another scene The Chief of the Medjai - Mahu - is shown presenting prisoners to the Vizier. The Vizier stands outside a gate and is accompanied by several high ranking court officials and army commanders.

The Vizier (likely Nakht-pa-Aten) receiving prisoners from the Chief of Police Mahu

The same scene but showing the other dignitaries, the gate, as well as the prisoners.


The house of Nakht-pa-Aten was excavated in 1922. It was one of the biggest houses in Amarna. The villa included reception halls, bedrooms, a bathroom, a lavatory and offices. (Aldred)

 Picture from the 1922 excavations. The loggia labeled as (3) below.
 A digital reconstruction of the house like that of Nakht-pa-Aten

The house has been described extensively by for instance Wooley back in 1922. The image above shows the floor plan of Nakht''s house. The stairs on the right would lead to a set of small entry rooms. The large room labeled (3) is referred to as a loggia. It's a large open covered space that is open on the side. The walls were white washed, and colors were used to accent the space. The ceiling in the loggia was painted deep blue. Rooms (4), (5) and (6) may have been used by guests. Room (8) is the central space and main reception area of the house. It measures about 8 meters square. On one side of the room a brick divan stretched almost the entire length of the wall.  The ceilings were high and indirect light was filtered into the space. 

Room (9) is another loggia with large open windows on one side, and it may have been a space used in the winter when the sun would have warmed this area. This space was decorated with a scene showing Akhenaten adoring the cartouches of the Aten. Another niche mentions the titles of Nakht and had the hymn to the Aten inscribed.

Room (16) was the inner reception room and was a more private space than the larger reception room mentioned above. Worth noting is that rooms (21) and (27) were the bedrooms of the Vizier and his wife. Adjacent to the bedrooms were rooms that used as the bath room and the lavatory. The bath was placed on a raised platform and stairs were constructed so that the servants could poor water over the bather.


Nakhtpaaten had his tomb prepared in Akhet-Aten and his is tomb number 12 among the Southern tombs just outside the city.

  • Aldred, Cyril, Akhenaten: King of Egypt ,Thames and Hudson, 1991 (paperback), ISBN 0-500-27621-8 
  • Davies, N. de G. , The rock tombs of El-Amarna, Parts III and IV, 1905 (Reprinted 2004), The Egypt Exploration Society, ISBN 0-85698-160-5
  • Murnane, William J, Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt, Society of Biblical Literature, 1995 ISBN 1-55540-966-0
  • Reeves, Nicholas : Akhenaten – Egypt’s False Prophet. London, Thames & Hudson, 2005. ISBN 0-500-28552-7, p.126
  • Woolley, C. Leonard, Excavations at Tell el-Amarna, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 8, No. 1/2 (Apr., 1922), pp. 48-82