Tomb owner spearing fish, a detail from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

Egypt, Beni Hassan, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Upper Cemetery, Chapel, East wall.
The tomb owner spears two fish while standing on a boat in the marshlands. This detail occurs within the spearfishing scene on the chapel's east wall Tomb owner spear-fishing in the marshlands. Khnumhotep stands upon a large papyrus boat in front of a papyrus thicket. He wears a transparent long kilt with a belt on top of the sports tunic. He also wears a skullcap, ceremonial beard, moustache and collar. He holds a spear made of reeds. The end of the spear has pierced two fish, a tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and a Nile perch (Lates niloticus), within a mound of water. A smaller man stands on the boat to the left of Khnumhotep II. He is described as jrj mrḥt H̱nmw-ḥtp(.w) 'the keeper of salve, Khnumhotep'. He has short, wavy hair, wears a long kilt and holds in one hand a spare spear and in the other a reel on which a line is wound. Birds and other marshland creatures perch at the top of the papyrus thicket on the tomb owner's left Animals in a papyrus thicket.
Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, Reign of Amenemhat II (c. 1918-1884 BCE).
Egypt, Beni Hassan, Upper Cemetery, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), Chapel, East wall, Right section, Wall.
Relief or Polychrome Paint.
Parent Context
Kanawati & Evans, BH1, Pl. 75.:Beni Hassan:Upper Cemetery:12th Dynasty:Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3) II:Chapel:Scene:East wall:Right section:Wall:Marsh related activities:Spear-fishing:
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), pls. 76b (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
Penelope Blake "Tomb owner spearing fish, a detail 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.