(Auto)biography, lines 199-211, inscription from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

Egypt, Beni Hassan, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Upper Cemetery, Chapel, East 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. 13b (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:

(192-200) ḫprt ḥꜢtj-Ꜥ H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) jr.n.j mnw šps m-ẖnw n njwt.j ḳd.n.j wḫꜢ gm.n.j m ꜢꜢ sꜤḥ.n.j sw m wḫꜢw n-mꜢt sš(.w) m rn.j ḏs.j sꜤnḫ.n.j rn n jt.j ḥr.sn sš.n.j jrt.j ḥr mnw nb ‘What the count Khnumhotep achieved: I made a noble monument within my city. I built a columned hall which I found ruined. I erected it with columns anew, inscribed with my own name. I kept alive the name of my father upon them. I have inscribed what I did upon every monument’.

(200-208) jr.n.j ꜤꜢ n mḥ 6 m Ꜥš n NgꜢw r sbꜢ tpj n js ꜤꜢwj-r n mḥ 5 šsp 2 r kꜢr n Ꜥt špst ntt m-ẖnw n js pn dpḥt ḥtpw prt-ḫrw t ḥnḳt kꜢw Ꜣpdw pꜢwt ḥr mnw nb jr.n.j sꜢp.n.j š ḳd(w) ḫwt ḫft.f dd ṯꜢw n wḫꜢ pn ‘I made a door of 6 cubits of cedar-wood of Negau, for the first/main doorway of the tomb, and two door-leaves of 5 cubits and 2 palms for the shrine of the noble chamber which is within this tomb. The required offerings and invocation offerings of bread, beer, oxen, fowl and cakes are upon every monument which I made. I laid out a pond and trees were established in front of it, which gives breath to this columned hall’.

(208-221) wr mnw.j m-ẖnw n njwt tn r jtw sḏtj njwt tn mnḫ mnw smjt.s r tpjw-Ꜥ r prw/jsw jrrw ẖr-ḥꜢt.j jnk sꜤḥ mnw sbꜢ.n.j ḥmwt nbt ntj tm.tj m-ẖnw njwt tn n-mrwt mnḫ rn.j ḥr mnw nb jr.n.j grg(t) ḥrt mw nn mnst jm.s hꜢ n.j jmw kjj jt ẖr jrj-pꜤt ḥꜢtj-Ꜥ Nḥrj sꜢ H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) jr n BꜢḳt mꜢꜤ-ḫrw nb jmꜢḫ ‘Greater were my monuments within this city than (those of) the forefathers of the foster-child of this city. More splendid were the monuments of its necropolis than (those of) the ancestors, than the tombs which were made before me. I was one noble of monuments. I taught all crafts which were lacking within this city, so that my name might be well-established upon every monument. I made a foundation (?) overseeing the water, without a lack in it, that the boat of another father (?) should be sent down for me. Under the hereditary prince, the count, Nehri’s son, Khnumhotep, born to Baqet, the justified, the possessor of veneration’.

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, East 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. 13b (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 199-211, 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+199-211+inscription/