Body Viscus Goes Inside Canopic Jars (Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom)


According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these canopic jars “were made to contain the four internal organs removed during the mummification process (stomach, liver, intestines, lungs). Earlier examples had flat or domed lids, but human-headed lids were introduced by the early Middle Kingdom. Three of these jars are inscribed for Nebsen, while the fourth jar, found in the same tomb, names Senwosret. It is likely that two sets of jars were manufactured in the same workshop and at some point mixed.”  While the Met pays a lot of attention to the lids on top of the jars, shaped as they are in the form of heads, what’s really cool are the stains running down the side of the jar from run-off organ glop? At least that what it looks like to this untutored eye. If anyone knows better and different, I’ll fix the post.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to Body Viscus Goes Inside Canopic Jars (Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom)

  1. Really interesting!

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