Figural Proportions for Active Figures: A Case Study

Drafting the Fowling Scene in the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A recent recording and publication by the Australian Centre for Egyptology (ACE) of the Dynasty 12 tomb of Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3) at Beni Hassan has provided a unique opportunity to re-examine the visual and textual repertoire in the tomb. In contrast to earlier records, the detailed ACE epigraphic and photographic record enables the identification of surviving guidelines used by the craftsmen to draft the active male figure fowling in the marshlands on the east wall of the chapel. The present paper aims to examine the recently published record of the tomb to: 1) analyse the surviving guidelines from a contemporary marsh scene at Meir, with particular focus on developing a hypothetical grid to identify the figural proportions for active male major figures fowling or spear-fishing in the marshlands; 2) apply a hypothetical grid to the fowling scene in the tomb of Khnumhotep II (Tomb 3) at Beni Hassan using the remains of a single vertical axial line painted in red as a point of reference. The approach and methodology will highlight the extent to which a proportional system, namely the 18 squared grid for standing male major figures employed by craftsmen in the 12th Dynasty, is applied to the active male major figure to obtain the correct anatomical position for the respective body parts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies on Ancient Egypt in Honour of XX
EditorsAshten Warfe, James Gill, Caleb Hamilton, Amy Pettman, David Stewart
Place of PublicationLeuven
PublisherPeeters Publishers
Number of pages8
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameOrientalia Lovaniensia Analecta
PublisherPeeters Publishing


  • proportional system
  • elite mortuary representation
  • ancient egypt
  • Beni Hassan (Egypt)--Antiquities
  • Khnumhotep II

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