A nice "dummy" or "false" limestone canopic jar! Shows nice workmanship even though the tradition of using Canopic jars for the organs started to cease by this period as the organs were being wrapped and placed back into the body. Sometimes these "dummy" Canopic jars were placed in a Canopic box and other times they were placed within holes in the floor. This example is intact said for missing section to one side as seen in the photo. Made of a single piece of limestone, the top is contiguous with the bottom and there is no inner cavity. During the Third Intermediate Period, between the 21st and 25th dynasties, a change in embalming practices led to the temporary abandonment of canopic jars.
During mummification certain organs were removed, such as the lungs, the liver, the stomach, and the intestines. Taken out, they were embalmed separately, and stored in canopic jars. These vessels were named after a Greek sailor named Canopus, who is believed to be buried at Canopus (Abuqir) in the western Delta and worshiped there in the form of a human-headed jar. Each of the organs was identified by the jar they lay in. The Four Sons of Horus were used as keep of the organs: the liver with Imsety (man's head), the lungs with Hapy (baboon's head), the stomach with Duamutef (jackal's head), and the intestines with Qebehsenuef (falcon's head). The four gods were in turn placed under the protection of four goddesses, Imsety being associated with Isis, Hapy with Nephthys, Duamutef with Neith, and Qebehsenuef with Selkis. This example however was only used for symbolic reasons and would have never made it to become a functional jar.
For reference see: Reisner, Canopics, Published in 1967. Impr. de l'Institut français d'archeìologie orientale.
Provenance: Gustave Jequier Collection.
Ex. Billy Jamieson (1954-2011)