Canopic Jar with the Head of Imsety (work of art)
Key Ideas about this Work of Art
- This canopic jar is carved from stone and consists of two pieces: the lid in the form of a human head and the jar with hieroglyphic carvings.
- Canopic jars were created in groups of four, to represent the four sons of Horus. Each jar would have held a specific internal organ. The organs were mummified separately, after they were removed from the body of the deceased, which was also mummified. The jar protected each organ for the journey into the afterlife, where all of the organs would be reunited with the dead person.
- The jar with the human-head lid represented the protector deity Imsety (pronounced im-set-ee). It would have contained the liver of the deceased.
- The hieroglyphs tell us that this canopic jar belonged to Qeny, the overseer of the pharaoh’s double granaries. A granary is a room or building used for storing threshed grain or animal feed.
Canopic jars contained the viscera, or soft internal organs, of the deceased and were placed inside the tomb. Each jar contained a specific organ. The jar with the human-head lid represented the protector deity Imsety and contained the liver. This canopic jar belonged to Qeny, the overseer of the pharaoh’s double granaries.
tags: hieroglyphics, Ancient Egypt, function, survival, ritual, interdependence, cycle
Resources for Teachers
- See the four different types of canopic jars.
- Learn about the origin of hieroglyphs.
Resources for Students
- Learn about the steps of the mummification process.
- Learn more about canopic jars.
- Find interesting facts about hieroglyphs.