Funerary cone of Montuemhat and Shepenmut

Likely Late Period, Dynasty 25–30
760–332 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Davies & MacAdam 420


Height x diameter: 5.1 x 8.9 cm (2 x 3 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

Funerary cone of reddish-buff clay with tapering cone element broken off and missing. Head end carries a circular stamp with four divided rows of hieroglyphic text to identify the owners.

Translation of text:
“One Honored by Osiris
Fourth Prophet of Amen, Montuemhat, True-of-Voice,
(and) his wife, his beloved, King’s Acquaintance, Lady of the House
Shepenmut, True-of-Voice”

imAxy xr Wsir
Hm-nTr 4-nw Imn mnT(w)-m-HAt mAa xrw
Hmt.f mrr.f rx.t nswt nb.t-pr
Spt-n-Mwt mAa.t 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 #420.


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