Human-headed canopic jar lid

Napatan Period, reign of Taharqa
690–664 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), El-Kurru, Pyramid IV


Height x diameter: 17.8 x 16 cm (7 x 6 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

Not On View


The Ancient World


Canopics and canopic boxes

This lid for a canopic jar is carved of travertine (Egyptian alabaster) in the shape of a human head, likely representing Imsety, one of the Four Sons of Horus, protectors of the viscera of the deceased. The face shows delicate modeling of the features, though it is now in slightly battered condition. A false beard is fitted as a separate piece.


From Nubia (Sudan) el-Kurru, Pyramid 4 (Queen Khensa). March 1919: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of the Sudan.
(Accession Date: January 1, 1921)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition