Terracotta funerary cone for Mery, high priest of Amun under Amenhotep II.
Overseer of the priests of Upper and Lower Egypt, high priest of Amun, overseer of the fields of Amun, steward of Amun, overseer of the granaries (of Amun), overseer of the treasury
Price: € 1500,--
Period: New Kingdom, 1550 - 1069 B.C.
Provenance: German collection P.P.
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Funerary cones were placed in rows over the entrance of a tomb chapel, creating a decorative frieze. They were inserted into the wall, so that only the short end was visible. The oldest known examples date to the 11th Dynasty. From the New Kingdom onward the short end was inscribed (stamped) with titles and name of the owner of the tomb; sometimes a short prayer was added.
In the New Kingdom the temple of Amun in Thebes became an important institution in the administration of Egypt. Its head was the high priest of Amun (Hm-nTr n imn literally 'first god's servant of Amun'); under him there were the second, third and fourth priest of Amun. The temple offered the state a secure place of administering and developing large agricultural estates, and its enclosure-walls provided safe high ground for grain stores, protected from the annual river flood and from human attack. In effect the temple of Amun became the branch of state administration for governing Upper Egypt. On a smaller scale, temples throughout Egypt acted as local branches of state administration - the 'banks' of ancient Egypt.