Most of the funerary cones can be classified into the following four types: pyramidal (Fig. 1), brick-formed (Fig. 2), wedge-formed (Fig. 3), and conical (Figs. 4–6). However, horn-shaped ( MAF: 2356 = Davies & Macadam # 594.) and trumpet-shaped ( MAF: 2357 = Davies & Macadam # 385 & MAF: 2367 = Davies & Macadam # 170.) cones are also present at the Museo Archeologico di Firenze (Florence), Italy (Pellegrini 1902: 38, 41, and 47). In addition, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Wien, Austria, has another rare type of cone (Fig. 7); this bone-shaped cone belongs to Djedhor, whose other cones are also housed in the same museum. Nevertheless, more significant are the double-headed and triple-headed cones, albeit there is only one example at present (Figs. 8-9. Both of them originated in TT 11 - the tomb of Djehuty. Triple-headed cone is referred to in Galán and Borrego 2006: Fig. 37.). The most astonishing shape is mentioned by E. Kruck. According to her, DAI has found two cone-brick intermediate configurations, which she thinks are cone-imitated bricks (Fig. 10. Kruck 2012: 28-29, Taf. 10a) and 10b)). So far, this type of 'cones' have not been found except for the two owned by TT 232 Minmontu.

Each cone bears the name of an ancient official and his title, which is stamped on the face of the cone; the average diameter of the surface base is between 5 to 10 centimetres. While some Egyptians had several types of cones that bore the same seal, others, such as the owner of TT 32 whose cones are Davies & Macadam # 336 and # 346, only had the brick type. Therefore, while the term 'funerary cone' is used in English, the Germans refer to it with the following two terms: Grabkegel (tomb's cone) and Friesziegel (ornamental brick). Donald Ryan, who possesses considerable knowledge about cones, suggested that funerary cones be termed 'funerary stamps' (Ryan 1988). Erño Gaál, a Hungarian archaeologist who excavated TT 32, referred to the unearthed objects bearing seals # 336 and # 346 as 'stamped bricks' (Gaál 1993). Thus, the conical-shaped funerary cones are not exclusive. However, since they are the most abundant, this website refers to all such objects as 'cones', except when specific types are indicated.

Fig. 1 Pyramidal 'cone'

Fig. 2 Brick-formed 'cone'

Fig. 3 Wedge-formed 'cone'

Fig. 4 Conical cone
© The British Mueum. (EA 69222).

Fig. 5 Conical (a bit cylindrical) cone
© The British Mueum. (EA 35688).

Fig. 6 Conical cone
© The British Mueum. (EA 9666).

Fig. 7 Bone-shaped 'cone'
© KHM, Wien. (A 1863).

Fig. 8 Double-headed 'cone'
© The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow 2009. (GLAHM D.1925.63)

Fig. 9 Triple-headed 'cone'
© Dr José M. Galán.

Fig. 10 Cone-imitated brick
Drawn by Kento Zenihiro after Kruck 2012: Taf. 10a)

& Width
Image galleryMacadam's unpublished
manuscripts in Sudan
Data on
each cone
Museum HoldingsCones not listed
on Davies & Macadam
Stamped bricksAbbreviations
& References

Last updated on 9th Jan. 2016.


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