Canopic jar

Napatan Period, reign of Aspelta
593–568 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Nuri, Pyramid VIII (Tomb of Aspelta)


Height: 27.6 cm (10 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

Not On View


The Ancient World


Canopics and canopic boxes

This canopic jar, a large fragment of which has broken away and is missing, is carved from travertine (Egyptian alabaster). The jar’s sides are straight, flaring outward from the base to high shoulders that turn in to a fairly wide aperture. Incised on the exterior of the jar is a square register containing four columns of hieroglyphic text. The remaining portion has cracked and been mended.

The text reads:
“Spoken by Qebehsenuef: It is to you that I have come, Osiris
King Aspelta. Awaken and be vigilant
without your acting. I have protected you and
I have cleansed your limbs such that your enemies are unable to see you.”

Qebehsenuef is one of the Four Sons of Horus, protectors of the viscera of the deceased.


From Nuri, pyramid 8 (tomb of Aspelta). 1916: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan.
(Accession Date: March 1, 1920)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition