(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.

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:

(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'.

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. 08b (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 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/