Canopic jar lid

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


Height x diameter: 11.8 x 10.7 cm (4 5/8 x 4 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

Not On View


The Ancient World


Canopics and canopic boxes

This lid to a canopic jar is carved of travertine (Egyptian alabaster) and shaped as a human head, likely representing Imsety, one of the Four Sons of Horus, protectors of the viscera of the deceased. Features are well modelled and surfaces well smoothed. Eyes are almond-shaped. The nose is slightly damaged at the tip. An almost rectangular area carved on the neck may be intended to depict a false beard. The stone shows areas of significant discoloration. No trace of painted details remain.


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