The Egypt canopic jars played
an important role in the mummification process. The funerary
rituals of the ancient Egypt included the store of the
deceased's internal organs in four jars.
The vessels were
from stone, wood faience or pottery and were covered and
were holding the embalmed organs.
The Egypt jars were first
used between 2575 and 2130 BC (the Old Kingdom period).
Between 1938 and 1630 BC (during the Middle Kingdom), the
jars were more elaborated, having the sculpted heads of
humans as decorations of their lids.
The heads could be the deceased`s representations.
Between 1539 and 1075 BC (the 19 the dynasty till
the New Kingdom's end) the jars heads were
representations of the Horus` 4 sons. The decline of
the canopic jars started in the 20th dynasty when
the viscera used to be return to the body. The
number of the used jars was always 4, symbolizing
the 4 protecting spirits: falcon, human, jackal and
baboon, or the god Horus` 4 sons. After they were
taken from the body, the organs were put each of
them in a jar.
The organs were put in these jars
because they are the first parts of the body that decompose
after death and the priests intended to preserve them.
not all the organs were put in the jars. The heart,
considered the soul` s, emotion's and intelligence's center,
was left inside the dead body. Also, the brain was not put
in a jar.
Egyptians considered it without importance so they used to
stick a pick in the nose, to pull out the brain and then to
A jar was only for
one organ; after they were taken from the dead body,
the intestines, the liver, the stomach and the lungs
were washed with a liquid like a white wine.
After that the organs were put in the 4
jars; each jar had a lid with one of the Horus `
sons: the stomach was protected by Duamutif
(represented by a dog or a jackal), the lungs were
protected by Hapy (a baboon),
the intestines by Quebehsenuf (a falcon) and the liver by Imsety (a
In the tombs of the mummies were different types of jars.
The mummies used to be dried in natron salt (a substance of
sodium carbonate) they were covered with traditional
The crystals of salt
were put around the body and in about 40 days the
body was dried and with no future decay to happen.
According to the ancient Egyptians, if someone
enters in a tomb and steals an organ from its jar he
or she will be touched by evil spells.
And this was because the
organs were considered very powerful and also sacred.
the Egypt jars were not just simple objects were the intern
organs were put after someone dies; the jars represented a
vital and sacred part of the mummies afterlives.