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ID number:  ECM 502
Named collection:  The Eton Myers Collection
Title / Object name:  Canopic jar lid
Object type:  Canopic jar
Date made:  Probably 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC)
Materials:  Clay
Measurements:  overall: 11.70 cm x 8.63 cm x 8.41 cm (H x W x D)
ECM502a.jpg

Human-headed lid of a canopic jar. The figure wears a smooth blue wig; only patches of blue paint are preserved. The eyes, eyebrows and mouth are outlined with black ink.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Uninscribed

Bibliography:  For a discussion of canopic jars and their evolution, see, for example, J. H. Taylor, ‘Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt’, London 2001, 64-76.

Notes:  Compare ECM 501.

Canopic jars housed the embalmed organs of the deceased, one each for the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines. The four jars were often placed in a canopic chest before being deposited in the tomb.

During the Middle Kingdom and 18th Dynasty, all four jars were usually human-headed, the heads representing the four Sons of Horus who were responsible for the protection of the organs. From the beginning of the Ramessid Period, the four Sons of Horus were more commonly depicted with animal heads.

Canopic jars were made of a variety of materials. Clay jars were particularly prevalent during the 18th Dynasty, although they were already used during the Middle Kingdom (as well as jars of wood, limestone and calcite); in the Ramessid Period, limestone and calcite were the preferred materials.

A downloadable 3D Model is available here.

3 Related Media Items

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1 Related People

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Myers, William Joseph
British
1858-08
1899-10-30
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