Canopic Jars

Canopic Jars are jars used by ancient Egyptians to contain mummified remains.  Throughout the mummification process the organs of the body are removed and preserved in different canopic jars.  Each organ was placed in a special jar with the top representing an animal or human head. The heart stayed inside the body because the Egyptians believed that in the afterlife it would be weighed to see if the person had a favorable life. The jars were decorated with the four heads of the four sons of Histure. Imstey had a Human head and protected the liver. Qebehsenuf had the head of a falcon and guarded the intestines. Hapy had a Baboon head protected the lungs. Duamatef had the head of a jackal, and guarded stomach. The jars are hollow. People put the body parts in the Canopic jars because the Egyptians thought the mummies would need the body parts in the afterlife. They thought they had to be specially stored. The jars were usually sculpted out of limestone, or made out of pottery. The jars are about 11 centimeters long. There are hieroglyphics on them that say Canopic. They were sometimes made out of gold.

Click here to go back to hompage