Exposing Myths and Truths / The Intellects

Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep – Ancient sexuality exposed

In 1964, outside Cairo, near the famous Step Pyramid in the necropolis of Saqqara, explorers found a carved stone of two men embracing. The names inscribed above the image were Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep.

These two men according to Ancient Egyptian scholars, were not of nobility, though they were highly recognized in the palace as the chief manicurists of the king approximately 2380 to 2320 B.C., known as the 5th dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

There have been different interpretations on the ancient carving, one being that the two men were lovers, and others stating that they were brothers, twins. The most recent interpretation the two men were of them being conjoined twins. Based on a study from Egyptian scholar, “It was extremely rare in ancient Egypt for an elite tomb to be shared by two men of apparently equal”, concluding that the most exclusive tombs display prominent men or men with their wives and children. This somehow explains why the two men were carved on the same stone and embracing one another, appearing to be conjoined twins, as seen in the photos.









This rarity, according to Egyptian scholars, was due to the peculiar circumstances of the two men. A conjoined twin, which was very rare In Egypt, would be something marveled at among royalty and was not uncommon to be placed in position in a palace. This conjoined interpretation seems to be the most plausible, based on the region and the time.

Egyptologist at New York University, said: “My suggestion is that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep were indeed twins, but of a very special sort”. The carving could symbolize “protection or close identification and reciprocity”. They were conjoined twins, and it was this physical peculiarity that prompted the many depictions of them hand-holding or embracing in their tomb-chapel.”

Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep refer to the god Khnum, the deity who fashions the form of a child in the womb. The attribute of the name further describes the circumstances of the two brothers at birth. Niankhkhnum means joined to life and Khnumhotep means, “joined to the blessed state of the dead” , and both brothers are known to have had families.”joined in life and joined in death”, is not insuinuating that the two were a homosexual couple as some gays are insinuating. To be joined in life supports Egyptians scholars interpretation of the two men being conjoined twins and dying as conjoined twins considering during those times there were not any known methods that separate the two brothers.

Some historians have researched and found that Niankhkhnum’s wife was named Khentikawes. There is a carved stone in the tomb with three sons named Hem-re, Qed-unas and Khnumhezewef. Three daughters are mentioned as well and their names were Hemet-re, Khewiten-re and Nebet. At least one grandson is mentioned. Irin-akheti was the son of Hem-re and his wife, Tjeset.

Brother, Khnumhotep had a wife by the name of Khenut. Khnumhotep and Khenut had at least five sons named Ptahshepses, Ptahneferkhu, Kaizebi, Khnumheswef and Niankhkhnum – the younger (named after his uncle), as well as a daughter named Rewedzawes.

Other supporting comments of the two being conjoined twins:

As for the sexual implications of the embracing poses, Dr. Baines has suggested that they could signify the “socially and emotionally linked roles” of two men who probably were twins.

Ancient Egyptian art, experts say, is not meant always to be taken literally.

Dr. Allen of the Metropolitan Museum agreed, saying, “Egyptian art was symbolic, and it is doubtful the Egyptians would have tried to represent realistically the join between these twins.”

Homosexuality interpretation

Below is a current piece of art of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep depicting them as lovers and has been surfacing the internet.









Homosexuality was very uncommon on unknown in Egyptian cultures. Since homosexuality has become so popular, many people within the gay community have supported the idea of the two men being lovers. This was to make an attempt to justify their sexuality with ancient evidence proving to those opposed to homosexual lifestyle that homosexuality is normal and has always been a way of life.

There is enough historical evidence to prove the two men were not lovers, but instead brothers.

Chang and Eng, the famous conjoined twins born in 1811 in Siam.









In the photo above the two Siam brothers are embracing.  Does that mean Chang and Eng lovers?

There are a number of documented conjoined twins, but for those in the new age without prior knowledge of ancient history and/or history that far exceeding their years, they tend to believe what they hear and see and don’t take the time out to research it for themselves.

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