From representation to reality: ancient Egyptian wax head cones from Amarna

Anna Stevens, Corina Rogge, Jolanda Bos, Gretchen Dabbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Images of ancient Egyptians wearing distinctive, cone-shaped objects on their heads have, in the absence of physical examples, long elicited scholarly debate. Did people wear these cones, or were they a purely iconographic device? What was their function and meaning? Recent excavations at the Amarna cemeteries now provide the first material examples of head cones. Spectroscopic analyses indicate that their primary constituent is a biological wax, and not fat or incense, as sometimes speculated. The authors tentatively suggest that the Amarna cones were symbols meant to enhance the rebirth or personal fertility of the deceased in the afterlife.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1515-1533
Number of pages19
JournalAntiquity
Volume93
Issue number372
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Egypt
  • Amarna
  • Akhetaten
  • Akhenaten
  • head cones
  • burial rites

Cite this

Stevens, Anna ; Rogge, Corina ; Bos, Jolanda ; Dabbs, Gretchen. / From representation to reality: ancient Egyptian wax head cones from Amarna. In: Antiquity. 2019 ; Vol. 93, No. 372. pp. 1515-1533.
@article{afc8cb5f7137496a95ffb275fcb2eab8,
title = "From representation to reality: ancient Egyptian wax head cones from Amarna",
abstract = "Images of ancient Egyptians wearing distinctive, cone-shaped objects on their heads have, in the absence of physical examples, long elicited scholarly debate. Did people wear these cones, or were they a purely iconographic device? What was their function and meaning? Recent excavations at the Amarna cemeteries now provide the first material examples of head cones. Spectroscopic analyses indicate that their primary constituent is a biological wax, and not fat or incense, as sometimes speculated. The authors tentatively suggest that the Amarna cones were symbols meant to enhance the rebirth or personal fertility of the deceased in the afterlife.",
keywords = "Egypt, Amarna, Akhetaten, Akhenaten, head cones, burial rites",
author = "Anna Stevens and Corina Rogge and Jolanda Bos and Gretchen Dabbs",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.15184/aqy.2019.175",
language = "English",
volume = "93",
pages = "1515--1533",
journal = "Antiquity",
issn = "0003-598X",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "372",

}

From representation to reality: ancient Egyptian wax head cones from Amarna. / Stevens, Anna; Rogge, Corina; Bos, Jolanda ; Dabbs, Gretchen.

In: Antiquity, Vol. 93, No. 372, 2019, p. 1515-1533.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - From representation to reality: ancient Egyptian wax head cones from Amarna

AU - Stevens, Anna

AU - Rogge, Corina

AU - Bos, Jolanda

AU - Dabbs, Gretchen

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Images of ancient Egyptians wearing distinctive, cone-shaped objects on their heads have, in the absence of physical examples, long elicited scholarly debate. Did people wear these cones, or were they a purely iconographic device? What was their function and meaning? Recent excavations at the Amarna cemeteries now provide the first material examples of head cones. Spectroscopic analyses indicate that their primary constituent is a biological wax, and not fat or incense, as sometimes speculated. The authors tentatively suggest that the Amarna cones were symbols meant to enhance the rebirth or personal fertility of the deceased in the afterlife.

AB - Images of ancient Egyptians wearing distinctive, cone-shaped objects on their heads have, in the absence of physical examples, long elicited scholarly debate. Did people wear these cones, or were they a purely iconographic device? What was their function and meaning? Recent excavations at the Amarna cemeteries now provide the first material examples of head cones. Spectroscopic analyses indicate that their primary constituent is a biological wax, and not fat or incense, as sometimes speculated. The authors tentatively suggest that the Amarna cones were symbols meant to enhance the rebirth or personal fertility of the deceased in the afterlife.

KW - Egypt

KW - Amarna

KW - Akhetaten

KW - Akhenaten

KW - head cones

KW - burial rites

U2 - 10.15184/aqy.2019.175

DO - 10.15184/aqy.2019.175

M3 - Article

VL - 93

SP - 1515

EP - 1533

JO - Antiquity

JF - Antiquity

SN - 0003-598X

IS - 372

ER -