Herding common cranes (Grus grus)

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

The red patch on the birds' heads is a diagnostic feature of common cranes, but their slate-grey plumage has been rendered as a pale green by the ancient artist. The cranes' keeper holds a grey heron (Ardea cinerea) in his arms, identified by its distinctive crest, as well as a hook with which to keep his bustling flock in line.

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, Reign of Amenemhat II (c. 1918-1884 BCE).
Egypt, Beni Hassan, Upper Cemetery, Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3), North wall, register 4 .
Polychrome paint on limestone (photograph).
Relief (photograph).
Parent Context
Data Credits
Compiled by Linda Evans 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. 49a, 102c (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
Linda Evans "Herding common cranes (Grus grus)." 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/exhibition/Kanawati-Evans-BH1-Pl-102c-Beni-Hassan-3-Khnumhotep-II-Chapel-Scene-North-wall-Middle-Centre-section-Wall/