Human-headed canopic jar

New Kingdom, Dynasty 18
1539–1295 B.C.


Height x diameter: 36.5 x 19 cm (14 3/8 x 7 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pottery, marl clay

Not On View


The Ancient World


Canopics and canopic boxes

Canopic jar of the wab priest Kemes, with a lid in the form of a human head. The facial features and wig are painted in black. The wheel-made body is of fine white clay; four vertical columns of hieroglyphs record an invocation to the goddess Nephthys.
The first column of hieroglyphs: Dd mdw Nbt-Ht inq.n.t aAwy.t Hr ntt
the second column: im.t stp-sA Hr dwA(mwt).f nty
the third column: im.t imAxy xr dwA(mwt).f
the fourth column: wab n Imn kms mAa xrw
Recitation, O Nephtes, you have wrapped your arms around what
is in you, protect Dwa-mutef who is
in you and the one horored by Dwa-mutef
The wab-priest of Amun, Kemes, the vendicated


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

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way