Tomb owner catching birds with a clapnet, a scene from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

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

The tomb owner catches waterfowl in a clap net. This scene appears amid other scenes of river and marshland activities on the chapel's east wall General view of the chapel's east wall. It is located on a central panel above the entrance to the tomb's shrine. The scene exhibits great artistic merit, as the tomb owner's involvement in closing the clap net is found only in a limited number of tombs. An abundant variety of birdlife can be found within and around the clap net Waterfowl in a clapnet. The clap net is strung across a waterway. Below the net, a throng of waterfowl swim in the waterway. To the left and right of this flock are two acacia trees (Acacia nilotica), filled with different species of birds.

The tomb owner holds the rope attached to the clap net, preparing to pull it closed Tomb owner operating a clapnet. He is hidden behind a screen of reeds. A horizontal line of hieroglyphs above the scene introduces the tomb owner: jrj-pꜤt ḥꜢtj-Ꜥ jmj-r smjwt jꜢbtjwt Nḥrj sꜢ H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) jr n BꜢqt nb jmꜢḫ 'the hereditary prince, the count, the overseer of the eastern deserts, Nehri's son, Khnumhotep, born to Baqet, possessor of veneration'.

Khnumhotep II has short hair, a long ceremonial beard, a sash and a short kilt with an apron. He is seated on an ebony chair with lion's legs and no back. The chair is placed on a low platform, which appears to rest on a reed mat. Two men stand behind the tomb owner. The first is his son, Nakht, and the second is an overseer, Baqet. Both are labelled in hieroglyphs. Above the scene, geometric patterns and a ẖkr-frieze fill the ceiling arch.

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, Reign of Amenemhat II (c. 1918-1884 BCE).
Egypt, Beni Hassan, Upper Cemetery, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Chapel, East wall, Above doorway, Wall.
Tracing paper.
Parent Context
Kanawati & Evans, BH1, Pl. 61.:Beni Hassan:Upper Cemetery:12th Dynasty:Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3) II:Chapel:Scene:East wall::Wall:::
Data Credits
Compiled by Penelope Blake 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), 116a, 133, 137 (lineart).
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
Penelope Blake "Tomb owner catching birds with a clapnet, a scene 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.