Culture Magazine

Tutankhamun Canopic Jars and Canopic Chest

By Egyking
Canopic Chest of Tutankhamen
·   This chest, except for the removable lid, was carved from a single block of alabaster which was brought from Hatnub {el-Menya} in Middle Egypt. When it was discovered, it was covered with a dark linen sheet folded over 3 times.
Canopic Chest of Tutankhamen
·   It takes the form of the “Pr-Wr” shrine of Upper Egypt with the cavetto cornice, torus moulding and the curved sloping lid. The lid was fixed to the vessel with cords knotted to gold rings and sealed with the official seal of the royal necropolis. The seal portrays the jackal-god Anubis crouching on top of nine chained prisoners who symbolize the enemies of Egypt. (This image relates to one of the titles of Anubis: Lord of the nine bows).
·   It is mounted upon a sledge made out of wood, stuccoed and gilded. On the corners of the chest, the 4 protector goddesses are sculpted in raised relief. Each one is identified with the emblem on her head. The inscriptions carved on the sides of the chest are filled with blue pigment with prayers offered by the goddesses and the four sons of Horus on behalf of Tutankhamun. At the bottom of the chest there is a gilded frieze containing representations of gilded Djed and Tyt symbols.
 Canopic Chest of Tutankhamen   When they opened the lid, which is decorated with a figure of winged Isis holding the Shen sign, the stoppers of the Canopic jars were found to represent the head of king Tutankhamun wearing the Nemes headdress surmounted by the cobra and the vulture on his forehead. The details of the facial features are painted in black and red. Amarna style of art is evident from the pierced earlobes and the 2 wrinkles under the neck.
Canopic Chest of Tutankhamen
·   When the stoppers were removed, they found that the jars are not removable from the chest (carved inside it). Inside each jar, there was a coffinette taking the form of an anthropoid coffin which contained the viscera of the king. Each coffinette is an exact copy in miniature of the 2nd coffin of Tutankhamun. They are made out of solid gold and decorated in rishi style of decoration and each has a Hieroglyphic line of inscriptions containing the name of one of the 4 sons of Horus with his associated protective goddess and the name of the appropriate internal organ protected. The inside of the lid has a figure of the appropriate deity in protective attitude, and the body of the coffin contains a long magical text on behalf of the king.

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