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Canopic jar, Egypt, 1400-700 BCE

The intestines, stomach, lungs and liver were removed from the body as part of ancient Egyptian mummification. Individual organs were placed in carved limestone canopic jars, each with a different shaped head representing one of the four 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 while the baboon-headed Hapi oversaw the lungs.

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Glossary: mummification

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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.