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Canopic Jar Lid

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The eyes and eyebrows of this female head were once inlaid. Their shapes, the woman's smiling little mouth, and the holes in her lobes for earrings suggest that the head was carved during the reign of Amenhotep III or one of his successors at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty or, more probably, during the Nineteenth Dynasty. The flaring wig is hollow, a feature that suggests this head was not part of a statue but was made as the lid of a jar. However, in this period, canopic jars, made to contain the internal organs of the deceased, had lids in the shapes of gods' heads. Human-headed jar lids are rare.

  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1390-1185 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18 or Dynasty 19
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 5 5/16 x 5 7/8 x 5 11/16 in. (13.5 x 15 x 14.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 86.226.35
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Canopic Jar Lid, ca. 1390-1185 B.C.E. Wood, 5 5/16 x 5 7/8 x 5 11/16 in. (13.5 x 15 x 14.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.226.35. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.86.226.35_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 10/21/2010
    "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 wooden head of a man from a canopic jar representing Amset. Wearing smooth shoulder length wig leaving pierced ears exposed. Elongated eyes and narrow brows formerly inlaid. Nose and mouth finely formed. Originally painted. The remains of wig stripes, horizontal at top and falling vertically on sides. Condition: Face very good. Gesso (?) in interior. Wood separation and cracks in several places. Chips gone from right cheek. Two parts gone front left and right front wig.
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    Canopic Jar Lid