Egyptian canopus limestone glass of Hapi, Late Period, 664-332 B.C.

DESCRIPTION
This is a canopic jar made of alabaster whose lid represents the head of Hapi, the baboon. The canopic jars were the containers that were placed in the tomb and were used to contain the entrails of the deceased when he was mummified. It was a set of four vessels whose lids represented the four sons of Horus: Kebeshenuef (falcon) for the intestines; Hapi (baboon) for the lungs; Amset (woman) for the liver; and Duamutef (jackal) for the stomach. The ancient Egyptians believed in eternal life and death was considered the beginning of a new existence. The belief that the souls of the dead returned to the body led to the creation of a series of customs and rituals to preserve the body.  The process began after death with embalming where the process of mummification took place. The body was cleaned and the internal organs were removed and preserved for burial with the deceased. The body was then dried with natron, a process in which the organs were also dried. When the body was finally dry and the organs preserved, they were cleaned and bandaged, applying ointments and performing magic rituals.


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