The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 25, 2024

Canopic Jar with Jackal's Head

Canopic Jar with Jackal's Head

664–525 BCE
Diameter: 16.3 cm (6 7/16 in.); Diameter of mouth: 9 cm (3 9/16 in.); Overall: 42.6 cm (16 3/4 in.)
Location: 107 Egyptian

Did You Know?

This jar is made of travertine stone-- subtle in color and with a captivating natural pattern-- with hieroglyphics carved on the front. Such jars were used to hold internal organs of the deceased and to preserve them for the afterlife.


In the process of mummification, the liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines were removed, separately embalmed, and stored in specialized jars known as canopic jars (after a sailor in Greek mythology, who died at the town of Canopus in the Nile Delta and was worshipped there in the form of a human-headed jar). Each organ was identified with one of four funerary deities collectively known as the Sons of Horus: the liver with Imsety (man's head), the lungs with Hapy (baboon's head), the stomach with Duamutef (jackal's head), and the intestines with Qebehsenuef (falcon's head). It was their duty to protect the deceased and restore to him his body parts in the hereafter.
  • Formerly in the collection of William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney, Didlington Hall, Norfolk; Amherst Sale, lot 297. Purchased through Howard Carter
  • "Accessions." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 8, no. 9 (1921): 138-41. Mentioned: p. 138
    "The Bequests of Mary Warden Harkness: A Tribute and an Accounting." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 15, no. 2, part. 2. (February, 1928): 43-50 Reproduced: p. 46; Mentioned: p. 49
    Berman, Lawrence M., and Kenneth J. Bohač. Catalogue of Egyptian Art: The Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1999. Reproduced: p. 447; Mentioned: p. 447-448, cat. no. 347
  • Untitled Exhibition. Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (August 13-November 9, 1973).
  • {{cite web|title=Canopic Jar with Jackal's Head|url=false|author=|year=664–525 BCE|access-date=25 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL: