Canopic Jars

Canopic Jars
   Modern term for the four jars in which the soft internal tissues of the deceased were stored after the mummification of the body. Canopic chests in which packages of these organs—the liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines—were placed are known from the early Old Kingdom, but actual jars with ovoid lids appeared slightly later. By the Middle Kingdom, the set of jars dedicated to the four sons of Horus had evolved. The jars were all originally human-headed, but by the New Kingdom they bore separate heads— human, baboon, jackal, and hawk. From Dynasty 21 onward, the internal organs were wrapped in packages and placed in the body, but the funerary equipment continued to include dummy canopic jars. The use of actual jars was revived in Dynasty 26. The term canopic derives from confusion with Canopus, a deity depicted as a humanheaded jar during the Graeco-Roman Period.
   See also Afterlife; Mummy.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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