Canopic jar, Egypt, 2000 BCE-100 CE
The intestines, stomach, lungs and liver were removed from the body as part of ancient Egyptian mummification. The organs were placed in individual carved limestone canopic jars, each with a different shaped head representing four corresponding Egyptian gods – the Sons of Horus. Each ‘Son’ looked after a different body part. Human-headed lids, such as this one, represent Imsety (Mestha), guardian of the liver. The jackal-headed Duamutef was the guardian of the stomach. The falcon-headed Qebhsnuf looked after the intestines; the baboon-headed Hapi looked after the lungs.
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Organ that plays a major role in metabolism, digestion, and elimintation of substances in the body.In the warm-blooded animals the liver is usually of a dark reddish-brown colour. In man it is situated below the diaphragm, and is divided by fissures into five lobes. A human can last only 24 hours without liver function.
Glossary: canopic jar
Stone or ceramic jars in which the ancient Egyptians preserved the internal organs of a deceased person as part of their burial practices.