Funerary Equipment

Canopic Equipment
   
The practice of removing and separately mummifying certain internal organs (liver, lungs, stomach, intestines) made it necessary to provide containers for them outside the coffin, called canopic jars [10632]. These four organs and their containers were under the protection of the Four Sons of Horus, each responsible for a particular organ (Imsety [14739] for the liver, Hapy [14742] for the lungs, Duamutef [14737] for the stomach, and Qebehsenuef [14744] for the intestines). For the New Kingdom kings, a stone shrine-shaped box with four compartments, called a canopic chest, was provided. Quartzite, the same material used for the early New Kingdom royal sarcophagi, was also used for the canopic chests of Hatshepsut [12343], Thutmes I and Thutmes III, but beginning with the burial of Amenhetep II, calcite was the preferred material. Beginning with the canopic chest of Amenhetep II, a new decorative program was introduced, with four protective goddesses, Isis, Nephthys, Neit and Serqet sculpted on the corners, their arms extended to embrace the sides of the chest [12646]. The individual compartments were closed by stoppers in the shape of the king's head [12647]. The mummified internal organs were each separately wrapped and sometimes provided with a miniature mummy mask or even a coffin.     10632 14739 14742 14737 14744 12343 12646 12647
Relatively few of the canopic chests for New Kingdom kings' burials have survived. Nothing remains of canopic chests for Thutmes II, Amenhetep III, Ay, Rameses I, Sety I, Amenmeses, Sety II, Setnakht, Rameses IV, Rameses V, Rameses VI, or Rameses IX. A separate pit in the floor of the burial chamber of Amenhetep III may have been the emplacement for the missing canopic chest of this king. [16973]. Four semicircular recesses in the sides of the burial pit of Rameses VII's tomb (KV 1) were probably intended to hold a set of canopic jars that also have not survived [16974].     16973 16974
Shabtis
   
These mummiform statuettes served as substitutes for the deceased when called upon to perform tasks in the realm of Osiris [14962]. They were inscribed with the owner's name and often with spell 6 of the Book of the Dead. They were fashioned of various materials including wood, faience and stone. Some royal examples in bronze are known and others of wood covered with gold or silver leaf. Many other wood examples were covered with a coating of black resin. Stone examples are found in a variety of minerals including granite, sandstone, quartzite, limestone, and alabaster. In many examples, separate sets of tools including mattocks and baskets, were provided. In theory, a complete set would consist of one worker for each workday, plus an overseer for each ten days and a higher ranking overseer for each month. An additional five workers for the five epagomenal days that occurred at the end of the year brings the total to 413.     14962

Published or last modified on: December 19, 2002
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