Funerary cone of Wershu and Henut
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18–20
Davies & MacAdam 340 & 308
Height x width: 10.2 x 7 cm (4 x 2 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Funerary cone fragment of reddish clay with tapering cone or wedge-shaped element broken off and missing. Roughly square head end carries two different oval stamps, each respectively for a husband and wife, with hieroglyphic text identifying each.
Left stamp: “Chief of Weavers of Amen, Wershu, repeating life”
(Hry mrw(t) n Imn wrSw wHm anx).
Right stamp: “His wife, his beloved Henut, True-of-Voice, Possessor of Veneration” (Hmt.f mrt.f Hnwt mAa.t xrw nb(.t) imAx).
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), types #308 & 340.
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)
Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way