(Auto)biography, lines 164-177, inscription from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

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

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 inscription reads:

(161-169) sꜤnḫ.n.j rn n jtw.j gm.n.j wš(.w) ḥr sbꜢw rḫ(.w) m tjt mtj m šdt nn djt kjj m Ꜥb kjj jsṯ sꜢ pw mnḫ srwḏ rn n tpjw-Ꜥ Nḥrj sꜢ H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) mꜢꜤ-ḫrw nb jmꜢḫ 'I kept alive/restored the name(s) of my fathers, which I had found destroyed upon the doorways, they (now) being recognisable in signs precise in reading, without putting one in the place of another. Lo, a devoted son is he who makes to flourish the name(s) of the ancestors, Nehri's son, Khnumhotep, the justified, the possessor of veneration'.

(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'.

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, Reign of Amenemhat II (c. 1918-1884 BCE).
Egypt, Beni Hassan, Upper Cemetery, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Chapel, South wall, Lower section, Wall.
Relief or Polychrome Paint.
Parent Context
Chapel, Autobiography
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.
Project Funding
Supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project scheme: DP160102223 "Measuring meaning in Egyptian art: A new approach to an intractable problem" held by N. Kanawati (MQ), L. Evans (MQ), A. Woods (MQ) and J. Kamrin (Met), the Macquarie University Department of Ancient History, and the Macquarie University Faculty of Arts.
Original Citation
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. 12b (photograph),
Recorded and published with permission from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. Photographs by Effy Alexakis as part of research on site. Copyright Macquarie University 2018. All rights reserved.
Cite this
Madeline Jenkins "(Auto)biography, lines 164-177, 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+164-177+inscription/