The Canopic jars were used by the ancient Egyptians during the mummification process to hold the internal organs which were removed from the deceased. They were carved from limestone or made from pottery, and commonly used in Egypt old kingdom till the Ptolemaic period. They were stone vessels with flat lids and the human-headed faced masks were added later on in the old kingdom. In the late 18th dynasty, the stoppers of the jars were shaped with the head of fours minor funerary deities known as the “Four Sons of Horus” who were also considered the cardinal compass points, they are the baboon-headed Happy, the human-headed Imsety, the jackal-headed Duamutef, and the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef.
What Are Canopic Jars Used For
The canopic jars were four in number and were used to hold organs like the stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver after being removed from the body, embalmed, anointed and wrapped in linen as for the heart, well the ancient Egyptian choose to leave it in its place as they believed that the heart held the soul. The ancient Egyptian believed that life was immortal and death was nothing more but a door to the other side. Each one of the sons of hours was responsible for a direction and an organ, they are:
- Hapi, the baboon-headed god representing the north whose jar contained the lungs and was protected by the goddess Nephthys.
- Duamutef, the jackal-headed god representing the east whose jar contained the stomach and was protected by the goddess Neith.
- Imsety, the human-headed god representing the south, whose jar contained the liver and was protected by the goddess Isis.
- Qebehsenuef, the falcon-headed god representing the west, whose jar contained the intestines and was protected by the goddess Serqet.
The jars were placed inside a canopic chest and buried in the tombs with the sarcophagus of the dead. Many sets of jars survive from the old kingdom, in alabaster, aragonite, calcareous stone, and blue or green glazed porcelain carrying inscriptions on the outside and can be viewed in the Egyptian museum or any museum around the world.
Live With Ancient History
Canopic Jars are beautiful Symbols and the true meaning of an ancient Egyptian faith, and Egypt is full of amazing artifacts like these spread all over the country in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan so don’t miss the chance to witness all of them and discover all about the Egyptian civilization with our egypt private tours.