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Canopic Jar and Lid (Depicting a Human)

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Canopic jars first appeared in the tomb of Hetepheres, the mother of Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid. They were intended to hold the separately mummified internal organs. The middle-class examples of canopic jars, which first appeared seven hundred years later, are often dummies like these, never hollowed out to hold the organs, but still included in the tomb. Canopic jars demonstrate the development of a custom at a royal cemetery that was then adopted in a cheaper form by the middle class.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664-525 B.C.E. or later
    DYNASTY XXVI Dynasty (or later)
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 10 7/16 in. (26.5 cm) high x 4 1.2 in. (11.4 cm) diameter Measurements: h. 26.5 cm.; h. of lid 8.5 cm.  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Canopic Jar and Lid (Depicting a Human), 664-525 B.C.E. or later. Limestone, 10 7/16 in. (26.5 cm) high x 4 1.2 in. (11.4 cm) diameter. Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.896Ea-b. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE front, 37.896Ea-b_front_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One limestone canopic jar (b) with human-headed stopper (a). The face is crudely modeled: the eyes are long and tilted. Belonging to a man named Hor, the vessel is decorated with a four column inscription framed within a rectangular panel. Frame and text are incised. Condition: Some black paint remains on the pupils, otherwise all the rest of the coloring is lost. Quite a number of calcareous deposits are found on the jar (b). Found with 37.894E-95E and 37.897E.
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