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Enquête autour d'un cône funéraire

Une des fonctions d'une collection universitaire est d'alimenter les recherches de spécialistes de la communauté scientifique internationale. Dans ce cadre, Monsieur Zenihiro (Tokyo) nous livre quelques réflexions sur la technique de fabrication des « cônes funéraires », en lien avec sa demande d'information sur le cône de Strasbourg IES_NI_954. On observera notamment avec intérêt une page d'un manuscrit de Davies conservé à la Sudan Library à Khartoum.


A registered number in the Davies/Macadam funerary cone catalogue: 550

Owner: Nebenhaau (also called Iy. Tomb undiscovered, but perhaps at Dra Abul Naga area in Thebes, Egypt).

Text in transliteration:

sš-nswt nb-n-ḥʿȝw ḏd.n=f ỉy.

Text in translation: King's scribe, Nebenhaau, called Iy.

Date: ?
・One example was unearthed from TT 20 (Davies 1913: 5). One example was unearthed at Dra Abul Naga (Heyler 1959: 87 n. 2). Two examples were unearthed from 'Areal H' in Dra Abul Naga (Kruck 2012: 128).
・I have found the unpublished manuscripts written by Davies and by Macadam (both are researcher of cones) in the Sudan Library at Khartoum, Sudan, last year. On page 251 of Davies’s notebook (Fig. 1), he made a brief note on this cone (See the bottom section of the page).

(c) Kento Zenihiro.

Fig. 1 Page 251 from the Davies’s notebook preserved in the Sudan Library

On the manufacturing methods of funerary cones

Almost all the cones have been crafted by hand. However, in some very rare cases, it appears as if they were made on a wheel. This deduction is based on the fact that their bodies are hollow and their bottom surfaces retain the concentric traces of the wheel (Fig. 2).



Fig. 2 Wheel-made cones











# 550 also a hollow one; IES_NI_0954 in Université de Strasbourg is an example of this cone. This cone was not made on a wheel because inner wall of it is very course but the body is hollow. The reason of the hollowness is not known till today. As far as I know, there are only 4 cones that are hollow among 672 cones known today.

Fig. 3 Strasbourg's cone IES_NI_954



Fig. 4 Another example of the same cone as Strasbourg’s one.

Museum holdings

My research so far revealed that the same cone (that is, the cone with the same seal impression) is housed in the following museums, etc.:

Bolton Museum

(TN 10177. Personal communication with the staff of the museum)

Musée Champollion

One example (E 172. Dewachter 1986: 27)

The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology

One example (1972.769. Personal communication with the staff of the museum)

The British Museum

One example (EA 62715. Personal communication with the staff of the museum)

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Three examples (JE 56111, JE 56112, 31/12/24/11. My own research at the museum)

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Two examples (UC37958 and UC37959. Stewart 1986: 57)

Université de Strasbourg

One example (IES_NI_0954)

Author: Kento Zenihiro



Davies, Norman de G.

(1913). Five Theban Tombs. London: William Clowes and Sons.

Davies, Norman de G., and Macadam, M. F. L.

(1957). A corpus of inscribed Egyptian funerary cones. Oxford: University Press.

Dewachter, M.

(1986). La collection égyptienne du Musée Champollion. Figeac: Le Musée.

Heyler, A.

(1959). Note sur les «cônes funéraires» A propos du récent corpus de Davies-Macadam. Kêmi, 15, 80-93.

Kruck, E.

(2012). Dra' Abu el-Naga I. Eindrücke. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Stewart, H. M.

(1986). Mummy-cases and inscribed funerary cones in the Petrie collection. Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd.


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