Canopic jar, Egypt, 2000 BCE-100 CE

Made:
2000 BCE-100 CE in Egypt
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Limestone human headed canopic jar, Egyptian, 2000BC to 100AD

The intestines, stomach, lungs and liver were removed from the body as part of ancient Egyptian mummification. The organs were placed in individual carved limestone canopic jars, each with a different shaped head representing four corresponding Egyptian gods – the Sons of Horus.

Each ‘Son’ looked after a different body part. Human-headed lids, such as this one, represent Imsety (Mestha), guardian of the liver. The jackal-headed Duamutef was the guardian of the stomach. The falcon-headed Qebhsnuf looked after the intestines; the baboon-headed Hapi looked after the lungs.

Related people

Details

Category:
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
A635039
type:
canopic jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • ceremonial container
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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