Egyptian funerary cone of Amunemopet

Object number
Object: Egyptian funerary cone of crown prince Amunemopet

Material: Orange clay with remains of red pigment.

Period: Beginning of the New Kingdom until beginning of the Amarna period,
18th dynasty of ancient Egypte,
1550 BC to 1353 BC.
We use the very well derived dating from the PhD thesis of H. R. M. Aglan, p. 32, 2.1.1 (cf. literature listed below).

Description:    Conoid clay nail, so-called funerary cone. Hieroglyphic inscription in two columns in relief on the flat front (note: the photograph shown here is rotated 180°). It reads "chief bowman, overseer of hunters, Amunemopet".
Amunemopet, mentioned there with accompanying titles, was the owner of the tomb to which the cone belonged. The clay object was probably stuck like a nail into the still-damp plaster of the tomb's facade. A custom that was particularly widespread in Thebes at the time of the New Kingdom.

Background: Some singulated funerary cones of this owner have been found in or around various burial chambers, almost all in the period from the beginning of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century. This initially inexplicable scattering of the finds may be due to the custom of using the rock chambers again and again over generations and thus removing and distributing objects. Another explanation is the wild digging for artefacts before European collectors instituted the practice of systematic digging, which later became the basis of academic archaeology.
At last, the actual grave of the owner of this clay nail was found in 2009 to 2011. It gave itself away as such by the largest number of Amunemopet clay cones found so far, 16 pieces, as well as a brick with name inscription and clues on a wall and a stele. The tomb, designated Z1, is at Dra' Abu el-Naga, a site west of the temple precinct of Luxor, in western Thebes. Hassan Ramadan Mahmoud Aglan discusses and illustrates the discovery of the tomb of the owner of this funerary cone in detail in his 2018 dissertation at the Humboldt University in Berlin. There, the reader learns that Amunemopet is entitled "Crown Prince" elsewhere in his tomb.

Dimensions: 16.2cm length. 7.6cm diameter.

Condition: Very good condition. Cone completely preserved except for the tip. Hieroglyphic inscription still recognizable on the blunt side of the cone. Despite slight abrasion, remains of the original colour pigments.

Provenance: Acquired by us in 2020 from G. Vandervort, USA. Previously US owned. Acquired from the East Coast Fine Arts auction of June 2017, lot 96. Consigned there from the estate of a US private collector from New Jersey who worked as a professor in Manhattan. He acquired his collection between 1970 and 1985 in the New York art trade. The shadow of an old sticker indicates that this is a find that probably entered a collection at the beginning of the 20th century or earlier, such as the British Museum reference piece mentioned below.

References: Cf. N. de Garis Davies, M. F. Laming Macadam, A Corpus of inscribed Egyptian Funerary Cones (Oxford, 1957), no. 304.
Besides the mention in this standard book of reference, we would like to highlight the great treatment in the works of Kento Zenihiro, in The Complete Funerary Cones (Tokyo, 2009) and especially Zenihiro's online resource The World of Funerary Cones, no. 304.

Zenihiro counts the following 15 funerary cones of this owner in public and academic collections:
The Egyptian Museum, Kairo, inventory no. JE 56207.
Institut d'égyptologie de Strasbourg, inventory nos. 373, 384, 399.
The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, inventory nos. 1972.518, 1972.519, 1972.520.
The Birmingham City Museum, possibly two specimen.
British Museum, museum no. EA62731. Exhibited. Findspot Thebes, the piece was gifted in 1930 by Norman de Garis Davies himself. The name is transcribed as Amenemope.
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology des University College London, nos. UC 37737 and UC 37738. Attributed to 18th dynasty Thebes. The name is transcribed as Amenemipet.
World Museum, Liverpool, inventory no. 1973.1.449.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inventory no. 30.6.142.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inventory no. 72.1785.

Literature: Hassan Ramadan Mahmoud Aglan, Recently Discovered 18th Dynasty Tombs at Central Dra’ Abu el-Naga (PhD thesis, Humboldt-Unversität Berlin, 2018).

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.