(Auto)biography, lines 29-42, inscription from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

Egypt, Beni Hassan, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Upper Cemetery, Chapel, North 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. 07c (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:

(20-31) [smn].n.f [n.j wḏ rsj] smnḫ.n.f mḥtj mj pt psš.n.f jtr ꜤꜢ ḥr jꜢt.f mj jrjjt n jt mwt.j m tpt-r prt m r n ḥm n Ḥr [Wḥm-mswt nbtj Wḥm-mswt Ḥr-nbw Wḥm-mswt nswt-bjtj Sḥtp- jb-RꜤ sꜢ-RꜤ] Jmn-m-ḥꜢt dj Ꜥnḫ ḏd wꜢs mj RꜤ ḏt rdjt.f sw r jrj-pꜤt ḥꜢtj-Ꜥ jmj-r smjwt jꜢbt(jw)t m MnꜤt-Ḫwfw ‘He (Amenemhat II) set up the southern (boundary)-stele for me and established the northern (stele) like heaven. He divided the great river along its middle, according to what had been done for the father of my mother, by the utterance which issued from the mouth of the majesty of Horus Repeating births, the two ladies Repeating births, the golden Horus Repeating births, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Sehotepibre, the son of Re Amenemhat (I), given life, stability and dominion like Re for ever, (when) he (Amenemhat I) appointed him (H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) II’s grandfather) to (be) hereditary prince, count, overseer of the eastern deserts in Menaat-Khufu’.

(32-46) smn.n.f wḏ rsj smnḫ mḥtj mj pt psš.n.f jtr ꜤꜢ ḥr jꜢt.f gs.f jꜢbtj n Ḏwt-Ḥr r-mn-m smjt jꜢbtjt m jjt ḥm.f dr.f jsft ḫꜤw m Jtm ḏs.f smnḫ.f gmt.n.f wꜢs.t(j) jṯt njwt m snwt.s dj.f rḫ njwt tꜢš.s r njwt smnḫ(w) wḏw.sn mj pt rḫ(w) mw.sn r ntt m sšw sjp(w) r ntt m jswt n-ꜤꜢt-n mrr.f mꜢꜤt ‘He (Amenemhat I) set up the southern (boundary)-stele and the northern (stele) was established like heaven. He divided the great river along its middle; its eastern side belonging to the (district of) Mountain of Horus, as far as the eastern desert. At the coming of his majesty, he removed wrong-doing, (he) having appeared as Atum himself. He restored what he found ruined (and) what a city had taken away from its neighbour. He caused a city to know its boundary with (another) city, their steles were established like heaven and their waters were known according to what was in writing, being assigned according to what was in ancient time, in as much as he (Amenemhat I) loved justice’.

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, North 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. 07c (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 29-42, 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+29-42+inscription/