Funerary cone

New Kingdom to Late Period, Dynasty 18–30
1550–332 B.C.


Height x diameter: 4.1 x 8.9 cm (1 5/8 x 3 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

Funerary cone fragment of buff clay with tapering cone end broken off and missing. Head end carries a rectanular stamp that is almost entirely faded and extremely indistinct, but impressed hieroglyphic text would be expected to identify the owner. Some edges battered, and small portions of the stamped impression missing as a result.

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.


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