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Diameter: 18.4 cm (7 1/4 in.); Diameter of mouth: 10.2 cm (4 in.); Overall: 39.7 cm (15 5/8 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1914.631
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. It 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 (1914.630) were presumably from the same individual and therefore the same set, they differ in their materials, workmanship, size, and style of inscriptions. Made of a different limestone this jar, the smaller of the two, has a lid in the form of a rather ludicrous male head. It is clearly by another hand. A sizable fragment is lost from the body. IN contrast to the poor quality of the head, the handsome inscription on the body is deeply cut and filled in with a blue pigment. It reads, "[Words spoken by Nephathys:] 'May your arms embrace that which is in you. May you protect Hapy, who is in you, and the honored one before Hapy, the Osiris, the royal herald, Gregmennefer, vindicated."
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