Funerary brick/cone of Kha and Henutawy

Egyptian
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18–20
1550–1070 B.C.


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

Catalogue Raisonné

Davies & MacAdam 168

Dimensions

Length x width x height: 19.3 x 18.8 x 6.1 cm (7 5/8 x 7 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

RES.72.337

Medium or Technique

Pottery

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Architectural elements

Funerary brick/cone fragment possibly employed in similar manner as true funerary cones, as suggested potentially by its tapering dimensions. Two sides are stamped with identical circular stamped impressions (2 on one side; 1 1/2 on the other). Impressions show varying degrees of clarity, but in general are extremely faded and mostly indistinct (however, the complete text is identifiable from parallels). Each impression shows three columns of divided hieroglyphic text. Text identifies the owners as “One Honored by Osiris, Chief Retainer of the House Kha, True-of-Voice, (and) his wife, Lady of the House Henutawy” (Hry Smsw pr xa mAa xrw Hmt.f nb.(t)-pr Hnwt-tAwy).

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. However, the appearance of stamped impressions on two sides of this item could suggest placement separate from such friezes. The stamping of bricks with the name of a (royal or private) owner occurred in various periods of ancient Egyptian history.

Davies and Macadam, A Corpus of Inscribed Egyptian Funerary Cones (1957), type #168.

Provenance

Probably from Dra Abu el-Naga (Thebes). 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