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Funerary cones

Cone-shaped objects of fired Nile mud, stamped on one end, are very commonly found in Thebes. The stamps bear the names and titles of officials. The standard collection of these objects is Norman de Garis Davies and M.F. Laming Macadam, A Corpus of Inscribed Egyptian Funerary Cones I (Oxford 1957). The numbers of this publication will be referred to here as Corpus nnn; the drawings below are taken from this publication.

It is probable that these objects formed part of the decoration of the facade of the tomb, and the names on them are those of the tomb owner. Many more cone types have been found than can be attributed to known tombs. However, cones have only on two occasions been found in situ. The first time was nearly 150 years ago, above an 18th dynasty tomb (A.H. Rhind, Thebes: Its Tombs and their Tenants (London 1862), 136-8), and the other was a series of unstamped cones above an early Middle Kingdom tomb (H.E. Winlock, in Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Part II, February 1928, fig. 4-5). Some illustrations of tomb facades in the decoration of some tombs show a possible row of circular objects above tombs.

A considerable number of the cones found in the TT99 excavations certainly bore the name and titles of Senneferi (see first tab below). Two cone types were found in significant quantities. The name on the first (Corpus 154) is clearly Sennefer; that of the name of the owner of the second cone is unclear, but examination of many examples, some clearer than that copied by Davies, indicate that it was also Sennefer, as reconstructed below; the titles on the stamp are nearly all found in the tomb. More than one cone from a tomb is quite plausible. The long stamp was also found on several bricks.

As the objects are quite portable, cones from other tombs are frequently found in addition to those which can be shown to have belonged to the tomb owner. The four other tabs below give some further examples.

  • Cones of Senneferi
  • Photos Senneferi cone 93
  • Merremetjef cone
  • Heqaneheh cone
  • Suemniut cone
  • Amenhotep cone
cone 154
cone 93
cone 93 text

Cone of Sennefer (Corpus 154)

Cone of Sennefer (Corpus 93) with our reconstruction

cone 93 photo
cone 93 photo
(Corpus 55) cone 55
(Corpus 98) cone 98
(Corpus 163) cone 163
(Corpus 374) cone 374

The following table summarises the origin of all the inscribed cones found in TT99.

Corpus Quantity Tomb owner TT number
34
6
Imanedjeh
84
42
2
Amenemhat
97
43
3
Amenemhat
97
55
1
Merremetjef
57
1
Ter
83
3
Imamun
93
58
Senneferi
99
98
1
Heqaneheh
100
2
Menkheperresoneb
86
114
2
Nebmose
154
130
Senneferi
99
163
1
Suemniut
92
206
1
Menkheper
223
3
Sennefer
96
224
1
Sennefer
96
259
1
Kaiemre
265
6
Amenemopet
29
270
4
Amenemheb
85
281
1
Imanedjeh
84
283
3
Imanedjeh
84
302
6
Neferhotep
341
1
Paenamun
400
374
8
Amenhotep
C.3
390
5
Mery
95
393
1
Heqanefer
398
1
Nebamun
90
400
2
Mery
95
480
1
Ineni
81
493
1
Menkheperresoneb
79
524
1
Paenre
346
541
1
Sebty
560
1
...-nfr

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2014