Canopic jar and lid

Late Period, Dynasty 25–30
760–332 B.C.


Jar, Height x diameter: 27.6 x 21.6 cm (10 7/8 x 8 1/2 in.) Lid, Height x diameter: 12.7 x 13.6 cm (5 x 5 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

Not On View


The Ancient World


Canopics and canopic boxes

The canopic jar and lid shaped as a human head are carved of travertine (Egyptian alabaster) that has some areas of discoloration. The jar has almost drop-shaped proportions with a rounded base and deeply carved interior cavity. Features of the head-shaped lid are carved somewhat roughly. A brief hieroglyphic inscription on the top of the head reads reads: “Imsety,” who is one of the Four Sons of Horus, protectors of the viscera of the deceased. No traces of hieroglyphic text appear on the body of the jar. The jar is badly cracked at top.


By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.
(Accession date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way