Canopic Animals

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  • #0615
  • Egyptian Egyptian (culture)
  • Celestial Celestial (attribute)
  • Friendly Friendly (behaviour)
  • Egyptian Gods Egyptian Gods (common type)

The animal creatures that guard the organs of a pharaoh under the mummification process. They help the pharaoh by guiding him to paradise with ladders and ropes. The Canopic animals were also known as the ‘Sons of Horus’.

There were four guardians: Imsety who was human and under the guidance of Isis- he held the liver; Qebehsenuef the hawk under the protection of Seket kept the intestines; Hapy the Baboon under the guard of Nephthys who holds the lungs; and Duamutef the jackal under the protection of Neith who guards the stomach. The Canpoic Jars originally had a normal lid and were quite plain. By the Middle Kingdom each jar adorned a human head but by the 19th these jars had the heads of the four animals described above.

The process of mummification has been a mystery throughout history. It was a secret taught through oral teachings to the sacred few. However after much scientific investigations the process of the greatest form of mummification was accomplished in 2011 when Dr Stephen Buckley put his pig leg experiments to the test on a live human body donated for this purpose. Alan Billis donated his body and became the first Westerner to be successfully mummified using ancient Egyptian techniques.

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