(Auto)biography, lines 176-189, inscription from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

Egypt, Beni Hassan, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Upper Cemetery, Chapel, South wall.

Publication

N. Kanawati & L. Evans, Beni Hassan: Volume I: The Tomb of Khnumhotep II (Australian Centre for Egyptology: Reports 36, Aris and Phillips, Oxford, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-85668-846-1), pls. 12c (photograph),

Description

The (auto)biography of Khnumhotep II is incised on sunk relief below the coloured dado on the lower part of all four walls of the chapel. The (auto)biography begins on the east wall, north of the shrine and runs anti-clockwise, ending on the east wall, south of the shrine. On the south wall between lines 160 and 161 is a small false door carved in bas-relief False door with torus moulding and cavetto cornice. The following transliteration and translation is drawn from the primary publication by Kanawati and Evans (2014: 31-36) and reads as follows:

(170-184) sꜤḥ.j tpj m smnḫ n.j ḥrt sn s r jrrt jt.f jr.n n.f jt.j ḥwt-kꜢ m Mr-nfrt m jnr nfr n Ꜥnw r srwḏ rn.f n nḥḥ smnḫ.f sw n ḏt rn.f Ꜥnḫ(.w) m r n pꜤt ḏdw m r n Ꜥnḫw ḥr js.f n ẖrt-nṯr m pr.f mnḫ n nḥḥ st.f nt ḏt ḫft ḥswt nt-ḫr nswt mrwt.f m stp-sꜢ ‘My first noble deed was in establishing for myself a tomb, as a man should emulate what his father did. My father made for himself a tomb-chapel in Mer-nofret, in good rock of the bright type, in order to make his name flourish for ever, that he might distinguish it eternally, his name living on in the mouth(s) of the people and enduring in the mouth(s) of the living and on his tomb of the necropolis, in his splendid house of eternity, his place of everlasting, according to the favours from the king and the love of him in the palace’.

(184-192) ḥḳꜢ.n.f njwt.f m sḏtj n fḫt.f m ṯꜢm jr.n.f wpwt nswt šwtj.f jbꜢ.sn m ḫnw n ḳꜢbt.f m rḫ nswt st-ns.f nḫn ḳmꜢ.f Sbk-Ꜥnḫ sꜢ Nḥrj mꜢꜤ-ḫrw nb jmꜢḫ ṯn.n.f ḫnt sꜤḥw.f r ḥḳꜢ njwt.f ‘He ruled his city as a child who has not lost the foreskin (=circumcised). He performed the king’s commissions (while) his two plumes danced as a child at his breast, as one the king knew his eloquence while his appearance was youthful, Sobekankh’s son, Nehri, the justified, the possessor of veneration, whom he (the king) distinguished ahead of his nobles, to rule his city’.

Details

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, Reign of Amenemhat II (c. 1918-1884 B.C.E.). Egypt, Beni Hassan, Upper Cemetery, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Chapel, South wall, Lower section, Wall. limestone. Relief or Polychrome Paint.

Referencing

Publication

N. Kanawati & L. Evans, Beni Hassan: Volume I: The Tomb of Khnumhotep II (Australian Centre for Egyptology: Reports 36, Aris and Phillips, Oxford, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-85668-846-1), pls. 12c (photograph),

Project Funding

Project funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project Scheme: "Measuring meaning in Egyptian art: A new approach to an intractable problem" (DP160102223), held by N. Kanawati (Macquarie University), L. Evans (Macquarie University), A. Woods (Macquarie University) and J. Kamrin (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York); the Department of Ancient History and Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University.

Rights

Photograph by Effy Alexakis, Photowrite. Recorded and published with permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Copyright original photograph owners, used with the Macquarie University license. All rights reserved, no redistribution of images or content from this site without prior permission (or otherwise compatible with Australian Copyright Fair Dealing).

Data Credits

Compiled by Madeline Jenkins and the Beni Hassan Research Group with resources from the Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre, and the Australian Centre for Egyptology.

Cite This

Madeline Jenkins "(Auto)biography, lines 176-189, inscription from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan ." In The Beni Hassan Visual Dictionary: Khnumhotep II, edited by Alexandra Woods, Brian Ballsun-Stanton, and Nicolle Leary. Sydney: Macquarie University, 2018. https://benihassan.com/dictionary/Khnumhotep+II+Tomb+3/Autobiography+lines+176-189+inscription/