Describe it, certain depictions of it, materials it might be made from, or any other distinguishing characteristics. From this information, describe what this art piece may tell us about the respective society it came from? What particular aspects of this piece give us certain insights into this society?
The Piece that I chose isn’t just one particular piece I wanted to write about the Egyptian canopic jars and mummification. The Egyptian canopic jars were used to hold the internal organs of the person that was going to be mummified. The organs were placed in these jars so they could be taken into the afterlife the internal organs had to be removed because they contain a lot of fluid which would ruin the mummification process. The only organ left in the body was the heart because the Egyptians believed it held the spirit, understanding and the senses needed for the judgment day in the underworld.
Canopic Jars were made from a variety of materials such as alabaster, bronze, wood and pottery they were each beautifully sculpted and painted with depictions of the gods. The jars came in a set of four about 5 to 10 inches wide each jar was for a certain organ which was dedicated to the son of Horus. The head of each son was the stopper (top) of the jar. The four sons of Horus were said to protect the organs in the afterlife Imset (human) held the stomach and intestines, Hapy (Baboon head) held small intestines, Kebehsenut (jackal head) held the liver and gall bladder and Duamutef (Falcon head) held the lungs. Before placing the organs inside the jars each organ was individually wrapped in linen then placed in the designated jar. After placing the organs in the Canopic jar they poured sacred oil over the organs then ritually sealed the jars for eternity.
The Egyptians were very intelligent they knew how to remove organs from the human body and over a period of time they figured out ways to better preserve the bodies so they wouldn’t decay and would be ready for the afterlife. The belief in the afterlife was very strong and it prepared the Egyptians for death and burial. Since the Egyptians life span wasn’t that long about 40 years or so they prepared for a happy eternity in the afterlife. This preparation resulted in the construction of the pyramids and great tombs for the kings and queens lower class Egyptians had small tombs they weren’t as elaborate as the upper class. The tombs were filled with items that they would bring with them to the afterlife such as jewelry, cosmetics,