New Data on the Use of Canopic Jars in the Old Kingdom

Malykh Svetlana E.

In 2008 the Russian Archaeological Mission in Giza discovered three limestone canopic jars with two dome lids in the funerary chamber of the rock-cut tomb of Khufu-hotep, overseer of all the king’s works. The objects, as well as the tomb, were dated to the end of the 5th Dynasty. Stone canopic jars are rather rare in the necropoleis of the Pyramid zone, 90 examples from Giza and Saqqara being known for the present time. They usually are found in tombs of kings and nobles. Comparative analysis made it possible to establish the original location of the objects in question, which was in the southeastern corner of the chamber, the western part of it being intended for the sarcophagus. Canopic pits and built canopic chests were in the south-western corner of the chamber. All these facts show that the 4th Dynasty witnessed the origin of a tradition developped under the 5th and the 6th Dynasties and consisting in placing the mummified body in the western part of the funerary chamber and the internal organs in pits, chests and jars in the south-eastern part of the chamber.

Keywords: Ancient Egypt, burial rite, tombs, canopes, mummification