For the first 15 years of Siamun's
rule Pinudjem I ruled at Thebes as the High Priest of Amun.
Pinudjem I is known mostly through his work in the Valley of the Kings - the reburial of the previous kings of Egypt. In Year 6 he reburied Tuthmosis II and Amenhotep I. In the Years 12, 13 and 15 he cared for the mummies of Amenhotep III, Ramesses III and Ramesses II.
Evidence of Pinudjem I outside Thebes
As well as being High Priest, Pinudjem was still the Military commander of his King's armies, as such his name appears as far south as the island of Sehel (near the 1st Cataract). The northern fortress of El Hibeh also gives his name.
It is, of course, in the temples of Thebes that his name occurs the most - one example shows Pinudjem and his three brothers giving honour to Amun so 'that he may grant a long lifespan within Thebes' to their grandmother Nodjmet. (However this request fell upon deaf ears as Pinudjem buried his grandmother shortly after taking office).
At Medinet Habu, Pinudjem added to the temple orginally built by Ramesses III. At Karanak he usurped the avenue of sphinxes originally dedicated by Ramesses II.
Pinudjem I after Year 15 - as king
Gradually Pinudjem I was assuming a more kingly role until, in Year 15 of Smendes I reign, he began to be depicted as a king as well as the adoption of a royal Horus name:
'Strong Bull, beloved of Amun',
as well as the titles:
'King or Upper and Lower Egypt, pacifying the gods'.
By Year 16 (Years were still dated to the reign of Smendes I reign), Pinudjem had appointed a new High Priest to Amun - Masaharta ('High Priest of Amun, son of King Pinudjem I'). Following this Pinudjem I then effectively became a full pharaoh for the final years of the reign of Smendes I, the short reign of Amenemnisu and also for the opening years of Psusennes I.
Masaharta did not last to succeed his father, he died possibly after an illness. His mummy shows that his was a very large man, he did build a set of sphinxes at the Great Temple of Karnak. He seems he died around Year 24, he spent under 10 years in his role as priest and army commander.
The successor to Masaharta, Djedkhonsuefankh (another son of Pinudjem I), coincided with an outbreak of violence in Thebes. However, his time in office was very short, It is possible that Djedkhonsuefankh was killed by the unrest in Thebes at this time.
In Year 25, another son of Pinudjem I was sent for - Menkheperre. He was summoned to Thebes to put a stop to the violence that had killed his brother, this he did and exiled the ringleaders.
The Tomb of Pinudjum I
Pinudjum's tomb has never been truly identified - although faint traces of his cartouche have been found at the entrance to the tomb of Ramesses XI in the Valley of the Kings (it has not been conclusively proven that Pinudjum was actually buried there). His mummy was found in the of coffin of Tuthmosis I in the Deir el Bahri mummy cache, as well as his wife Henuttawy and daughter Maatkare-Mutemhat . Another daughter of Pinudjum was found in one of the priestly caches near the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri (Bab el-Gasus).