(Auto)biography, lines 57-72, 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. 08b (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:

(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’.

(62-71) [sꜤḥ.j] tpj n mswt.j wḏꜢ mwt.j r jrjt-pꜤt ḥꜢtjt-Ꜥ m sꜢt ḥḳꜢ n MꜢ-ḥḏ r ḥwt Sḥtp-jb-RꜤ dj Ꜥnḫ ḏd wꜢs mj RꜤ ḏt r ḥmt n jrj-pꜤt Ꜣḥtj-Ꜥ ḥḳꜢ njwwt mꜢwt mꜢṯ.n nswt jmtj n bjtj r sꜤḥ.f n jmj-r njwt Nḥr[j mꜢꜤ-ḫrw nb jmꜢḫ] ‘My principal nobility was due to my birth. My mother proceeded to (be) hereditary princess, countess, as the daughter of the ruler of the Oryx nome, to the domain of Sehotepibre, given life, stability and dominion like Re for ever, to (become) the wife of the hereditary prince, the count, the ruler of the new towns, whom the king proclaimed (as) foster child of the king of Lower Egypt, according to his rank of overseer of the city, Nehri, the justified, the possessor of veneration’.

(71-79) jn wj [nswt bjtj Nbw-kꜢw-RꜤ dj Ꜥnḫ] ḏd wꜢs mj RꜤ ḏt [m sꜢ ḥꜢtj-Ꜥ r j]wꜤt ḥḳꜢt jt mwt.j n-ꜤꜢt-n mrr.f mꜢꜤt Jtm pw ḏs.f Nbw-kꜢw-RꜤ dj Ꜥnḫ ḏd wꜢs Ꜣw-jb.f mj RꜤ ḏt dj.n.f wj r ḥꜢtj-[Ꜥ] m rnpt-sp 19 m MnꜤt-Ḫwfw ‘The king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebukaure, given life, stability and dominion like Re for ever, brought me, as the son of a count, into the inheritance, which the father of my mother had ruled, inasmuch as he loved justice. He is Atum himself, Nebukaure, given life, stability, dominion and his heart’s joy, like Re for ever. He appointed me to (be) count in year 19 in Menaat-Khufu’.

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. 08b (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 57-72, 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+57-72+inscription/