What Are Canopic Jars?•The ancient Egyptians used Canopic jars during mummificationto hold and preserve what they thought were their most important organs.•The organs put inside the jars were the liver, lungs, intestines, and stomach.•The jars were then put in the tomb with the mummy for burial. 2
Egyptian Beliefs and Religion• The Egyptians believed that they would need their organs to be perfectly preserved so that they could use them in their next life.1 3
Egyptian Beliefs and Religion•The Egyptians did not remove the heart from thebody because they believed it would have to beweighed entering the afterlife to see if the personlived a good life or not.1•They actually disposed of most other organs,including the brain, because they thought they werenot important and that they wouldn’t need them in theafterlife.3 4
EYGPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD Above we see an example of the Book of the Dead Before the god of the dead, Osiris, the final judgment of the deceased is decided (in this case Hu-Nefer, the royal scribe) Hieroglyphs and illustrations show the ritual of weighing the deceased’s heart to determine whether he can be granted eternal life.
What they looked like The jars were usually made from either clay, wood, stone, or bronze.2 Four different heads on the top, each protecting a different organ: The baboon head protected the lungs The falcon protected the intestines The jackal protected the stomach The human head protected the liver 1 Hieroglyphics on the jars asked the Gods to protect their organs.3 6
Canopic Jars from 22nd Dynasty (between 924-712 BCE) 7
Modern Day Canopic Jars Artist William Morrismakes Canopic jars today inspired by that of the ancient Egyptians. His works are larger than traditional Canopic jars and feature the animal head of his choice. The one pictured is actuallyblown glass and is 89.5 x36.2 cm, nearly four times the size of traditional Egyptian Canopic jars! 9