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The Canopic Jars of Aahmose

The museum extends its appreciation to Omar Zuhdi for the translation of the hieroglyphics.

These three canopic jars all belonged to Aahmose, son of Amun-ir-di of Faiyum, Egypt. They are from the Late Period.

The beginning hieroglyphics on each of the jars are the same.  They invoke the names of the gods Osiris, Horus, Anubis, and Sokar (a god of the underworld and sometimes incarnation of Osiris) and the goddesses Isis, Maat, Mut (the mother/queen goddess, later combined with Isis), and Hathor (a goddess who aided the deceased in completing trials in the afterlife).  These deities were called upon to provide good burial and it is noted that offerings of beer, beef, and fowl were provided for the gods.


The remaining hieroglyphics on the jars differ, each with invocations of the name of the applicable son of Horus.  The jar with the jackal-head lid calls upon the protection of Dwumutef and the jar with the hawk-head lid calls upon the protection of Qebehsenuef.


The jar with the baboon-head lid has hieroglyphics that invoke Imseti (the son of Horus with a man’s head), when they should in fact refer to Hapi.  Thus, in the distant past, the Hapi lid was placed on the Imseti jar.  It is likely that the Hapi jar (containing the lungs) and the Imseti lid were both damaged beyond recognition and the intact lid and jar were paired prior to their being obtained by the museum.


The hieroglyphics on the Dwumutef and Imseti jars also invoke the protection of goddess Neith (a war goddess); the Imseti jar also refers to Selket (a goddess of healing).

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