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Canopic Jar with Lid

Canopic Jar with Lid

1540–1296 BC

Part of a set. See all set records


Diameter: 23 cm (9 1/16 in.); Diameter of mouth: 10.6 cm (4 3/16 in.); Overall: 48.4 cm (19 1/16 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1914.630


Did you know?

Canopic jars are named after the Greek sailor Canopus, who was said to be buried at Canopus (Abuqir) in the western delta and worshipped there in the form of a human-headed jar that was actually a form of Osiris and had nothing to do with internal organs. But the term has stuck.


In the process of mummification certain organs, the liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines were removed, embalmed separately, and stored in jars known as canopic jars. Although this jar and another from the collection (1914.631) were presumably from the same individual and therefore the same set, they differ in their materials, workmanship, size, and style of inscriptions. This jar, the larger of the two, is much finer. The lid is in the form of a bearded male head of excellent quality. The body, of a different limestone, has three columns of incised inscription that are not very carefully cut and have no trace of color. They read: "Words spoken by Selkis: 'May your arms embrace that which is in you. May you protect Qebehsenuef, who is in you, and the honored one before Qebehsenuef, the Osiris, the chief royal herald, Geregmennefer.'"

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