Fragments of a Canopic Jar Inscribed for Senimen

New Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 117

Fragments of several canopic jars, including a fragmentary human-headed lid, were uncovered during the Museum's excavations in the vicinity of Theban tomb (TT) no. 252, the tomb of a man named Senimen. A high official during the reign of Thutmose II and the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, Senimen was the steward and tutor of Princess Neferure, Thutmose II and Hatshepsut’s daughter.

The purpose of canopic jars in ancient Egypt was to hold and protect the viscera removed from the deceased’s body during the mummification process. They traditionally came in sets of four, with the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines each embalmed and stored separately. The four containers were usually put inside a chest and placed in the tomb chamber.
These two groups of joined fragments represent parts of a jar bearing an inscription that names Senimen and invokes the goddess Selket and the deity Qebehsenuef, one of the four Sons of Horus. Under Selket’s protection, Qebehsenuef's task was to guard Senimen’s intestines, which probably were stored in this jar.

Fragments of a Canopic Jar Inscribed for Senimen, Pottery (Marl A4), paint

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