Canopic jar of Tetinakht: Imsety

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18, early
reign of Ahmose I
ca. 1550–1525 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Birabi, Tomb CC 9, Carnarvon/Carter excavations, 1907–11
Pottery, Marl A4
Overall H. 29 cm (11 7/16 in); diam. 19.1 cm (7 1/2 in). Lid: H. 9.7 cm (3 13/16 in.); Diam. 11.6 cm (4 9/16 in.); Diam. of rim 7 cm (2 3/4 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 114
Three canopic jars (12.181.253a–c) were found in a tomb dating to the beginning of Dynasty 18. Two of the lids are shaped like animal heads which represent jackal-headed deity Duamutef, protector of the stomach, and the falcon-headed deity Qebehsenuef, protector of the iintestines. This jar, with the human-headed lid, represents the deity Imsety, protector of the liver. These are three of the Four Sons of Horus. Missing from the set is the fourth jar which probably had a baboon-headed lid representing the Hapy, protector of the lungs.

These are the earliest datable examples of animal-headed lids on canopic jars, a style that did not become common until later in the New Kingdom. In earlier periods, the lids were different. Old Kingdom canopic jars were often covered with simple disk-shaped lids (see 14.7.16–.19), and from the Middle Kingdom into the early New Kingdom, they were usually covered with human-headed lids (see 11.150.17a–d).

For a complete set of animal-headed canopic jars, see 12.183.1a–d.
Excavated by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon between 1907 and 1911. Went to the Egyptian Government in the division of finds. Purchased from the Egyptian Goverenment in 1912.

Carnarvon, 5th Earl of and Howard Carter 1912. Five Years' Explorations at Thebes. p. 34, pl. XXV.

Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 72, fig. 39.