(Auto)biography, lines 42-57, inscription from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

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

(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'.

(46-53) ꜤḥꜤ.n rdj.n.f sw r jrj-pꜤt ḥꜢtj-Ꜥ jmꜢ-Ꜥ ḥrj-tp ꜤꜢ n MꜢ-ḥḏ smn.n.f wḏw rsjw m tꜢš.f r Wnt mḥtj.f r Jnpwt psš.n.f jtr ꜤꜢ ḥr jꜢt.f mw.f Ꜣḥwt.f jsr.f šꜤ.f r-mn-m smjwt jmntjwt 'Then he (Amenemhat I) appointed him (H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) II's grandfather) to (be) hereditary prince, count, gracious of arm, great overlord of the Oryx nome. He (Amenemhat I) set up the southern steles as his (H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) II's grandfather) boundary with the Hare nome and his northern with the Jackal nome. He (Amenemhat I) divided the great river along its middle, its water, its fields, its tamarisks and its sand as far as the western deserts'.

(54-62) rdj.n.f sꜢ.f smsw.f Nḫt mꜢꜤ-ḫrw [nb jmꜢḫ r ḥḳꜢ] jwꜤt[.f m] MnꜤt[-Ḫwfw m ḥst ꜤꜢ]t nt-ḫr nswt m wḏt prt (m) r n ḥm n Ḥr Ꜥnḫ-mswt nbtj Ꜥnḫ-mswt [Ḥr-nbw Ꜥnḫ-mswt nswt-bjtj] Ḫpr-kꜢ-RꜤ [sꜢ-RꜤ S-n-Wsrt dj Ꜥnḫ] ḏd wꜢs mj [RꜤ ḏt] 'He (Amenemhat I) appointed his (H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) II's grandfather) eldest son, Nakht, the justified, the possessor of veneration, to rule his inheritance in Menaat-Khufu, as a great favour from the king, by a decree which issued from the mouth of the majesty of Horus Life of births, the two ladies Life of births, the golden Horus Life of births, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Kheperkare, the son of Re Senwosret (I), given life, stability and dominion like Re for ever'.

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, Reign of Amenemhat II (c. 1918-1884 BCE).
Egypt, Beni Hassan, Upper Cemetery, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Chapel, North 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. 08a (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 42-57, 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+42-57+inscription/