Canopic jar lid (four sons of Horus)

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


Height x diameter: 12 x 11.6 cm (4 3/4 x 4 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Canopics and canopic boxes

This lid to a canopic jar is carved of a medium-grade limestone. The carving is somewhat rough. The lid depicts the heads of all of the Four Sons of Horus, protector deities for the viscera of the deceased. Paired on opposite sides are Imsety & Duamutef (human & falcon heads, respectively) and Hapy & Qebehsenuef (babboon and jackal, respectively). The stone is discolored and stained. The jackal figure’s ears have broken away and are missing. Traces of black coloring remain in the facial details of some figures (eyes of human and falcon markings).


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