Image: Egyptian Pottery - Imseti: E32096 A

Egyptian Pottery - Imseti: E32096 A

This is ceramic lid of a canopic jar, depicting the head of Imseti (Amset), a son of Horus and protector of the liver. Size: 11cm high, 12cm diameter.

Stan Florek
© Australian Museum


Canopic jars were used to store the internal organs of the dead. They came in sets of four and stored the liver, stomach, intestines and lungs. The heart was left inside the body to be weighed against the Maat feather of truth, to test its purity.

Each canopic jar had a lid in the shape of a protective god or goddess. The lid of this canopic jar shows Imsety in his human form. Unlike his brothers, he was not associated with any animal, but with Osiris – the god of death. Imsety in turn was protected by Isis – the goddess of love, the moon, magic and healing.

The provenance of this lid is unknown. It may be related to the 18th Dynasty (1567 - 1320 BC), or could be later replica.


BC (or BCE) – means Before Common Era, and indicates the years counted back from the first year of the Western Calendar. For example, in 30 BC Rome conquered Egypt and Cleopatra took her own life.

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