An integral part of the ancient Egyptian grave assembly are the canopic jars, named after the Homeric character, Canopus, who was the pilot of the ship of King Menelaus of Sparta during the Trojan War. According to legend Canopus was bitten by a serpent on the coast of Egypt and subsequently died. His master erected a monument to him at the mouth of the Nile River, around which the town of Canopus later developed.
The vases are typically made from alabaster, stone, wood or pottery containing the internal organs of the dead and have four shapes representing the ‘Four Sons of Horus’.
|The canopic vase example is made from alabaster and has a falcon shaped head (Qebehsenuef).|