Funerary cone of Heby

Egyptian
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III
1390–1352 B.C.


Object Place: Egypt, Likely from Thebes (Dra Abu el-Naga)

Catalogue Raisonné

Davies & MacAdam 15

Dimensions

Height x diameter.: 6.4 x 8.3 cm (2 1/2 x 3 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

RES.72.315

Medium or Technique

Pottery

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Architectural elements

Funerary cone fragment of reddish clay with tapering cone end broken off and missing. Scant traces of red wash/paint along one edge. Circular stamp (somewhat faint in some sections on head end carries five divided columns of hieroglyphic text identifying the owner. Fragment broken from head’s upper right edge, taking some text (known from parallels).

Translation of text:
“One Honored by Osiris
Scribe of Cattle Accounting of Amen through the Nomes of Upper & Lower Egypt
Heby, True-of-Voice, son of the Scribe of Cattle
Accounting of Amen, Senmes, True-of-Voice
[Born of the Lady of the House] Rui”

Transliteration:
ImAxy xr Wsir
sS Hsb-iHw n Imn xt spAwt Smaw mHw
Hby mAa xrw sA sS
Hsb-iHw n Imn sn-ms mAa xrw
[ms n nbt-pr] Rwi

Funerary cones were components of a frieze, inserted above the doors of private tombs, particularly in the Theban region. They have been variously interpreted as: name-plates of sorts to identify the tomb owner, decorative memorials, boundary markers for a tomb, dummy bread loaves or meat offerings, symbolic roof beams, or (for the visible circular head) depictions of the sun disk.

Davies and Macadam, A Corpus of Inscribed Egyptian Funerary Cones (1957), type #15.

For other examples of this tomb owner see: Res.72.293; Res.72.317.

Provenance

Probably from Dra Abu el-Naga. By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.
(Accession Date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way