Funerary cone of Merymaat and Maya

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

Catalogue Raisonné

Davies & MacAdam 11


Height x diameter: 15 x 6.5 cm (5 7/8 x 2 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

Funerary cone of reddish clay with tapering cone element largely intact. Head end carries a stamp with five divided columns of hieroglyphic text which identifies the owner. Slightly battered along left edge of the impressed text. Remnant red wash on head end.

The text reads:

“Honored one
before Osiris, Wab-priest of Maat
Merymaat, True-of-Voice
in the necropolis (and) his sister, his beloved, Lady of the House
Maya, True-of-Voice”


xr Wsir wab n MAat
Mry-MAat mAa xrw
m Xrt-nTr snt.f mrt.f nbt-pr
MaiA mAat xrw

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 #11.


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