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Canopic Jar and Lid (Depicting a Baboon)

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Canopic jars first appeared in the tomb of Hetepheres, the mother of Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid. They were intended to hold the separately mummified internal organs. The middle-class examples of canopic jars, which first appeared seven hundred years later, are often dummies like these, never hollowed out to hold the organs, but still included in the tomb. Canopic jars demonstrate the development of a custom at a royal cemetery that was then adopted in a cheaper form by the middle class.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664-404 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26 to Dynasty 26
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 3/4 x Diam. 4 3/4 in. (24.8 x 12.1 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Canopic Jar and Lid (Depicting a Baboon), 664-404 B.C.E. Limestone, 9 3/4 x Diam. 4 3/4 in. (24.8 x 12.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.897Ea-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.897Ea-b_front_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 37.897Ea-b_front_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone canopic jar (b) with (a) ape-headed stopper (Hapy). The carving of the head of this deity is more detailed than that of the other stoppers in this set of jars (37.894E-897E). This, plus the fact that the stopper is large and overlaps the vessel raises the question as to whether the lid was originally made for this vessel. An inscription in four columns, framed within a rectangular panel, is incised upon the vessel. The owner’s name was Hor. Condition: One large chip has been taken from the stopper just below the baboon’s chin. Some black paint remains in the eyes.
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