Funerary cone of Heby

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

Catalogue Raisonné

Davies & MacAdam 15


Length x width: 4.8 x 8 cm (1 7/8 x 3 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

Funerary cone fragment of reddish clay with majority of tapering cone element sawed off and missing; traces of red paint. Circular stamp on head carries five columns of hieroglyphic text identifying the owner. Small fragment missing from bottom of head, including small amount of impression.

Translation of text:
“One honored by Osiris,
Scribe of Cattle Accounting of Amen (for) the nomes of Upper and 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”

imAxy xr Wsir
sS Hsb-iHw n Imn spAwt Smaw MHw
Hby Maa xrw sA sS Hsb-iHw n Imn Sn-Ms MAa xrw
ms.n nb.t-pr Rw-iA

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.


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