Anatomy In Ancient Egypt
Anatomy In Ancient Egypt
In Egyptian culture, when the process of mummification was taking place an embalmer would remove four major internal organs which included the lungs, liver, stomach and intestines, These organs were then also mummified and placed in special containers known as canopic jars. Each jar had it’s own separate lid that represented a group of gods called “The Four Sons Of Horus” and each was used and responsible for protecting the particular organ. The time period of these jars ranged from around 712–332 B.C. and could be estimated about 15 or 16 inches long and about 6 inches wide. Focusing on one of the jars in particular such as the jackal-headed jar shows a very simple but also unique design giving it a sense of human like quality. Duamutef was the name of this jar, which was said to have protected the stomach. The jar having a head seems to represent that it’s always aware and they’re watching over this organ to be sure nothing happens to it and keep it safe and preserved.
The jar seems to take on a stylized form with very little detail but possess some symmetrical aspects such as the ears and the eye placement. The jar shows lines to give the head a more realistic feel by giving the carved sections the necessary depth to be a neck or nose indent. The head also seems to be smiling with the use of lines giving it form of human characteristics. The eyes and other features could have possibly been painted with an ivory-based paint style that could explain why it hasn’t been faded as harshly as other materials could’ve been. Based on the jars aging and cracks, it can be assumed that this jar was made from some sort of rock material such as limestone or sandstone. The lack of color makes it difficult to depict if Egyptians used and represented the figures in a realistic or symbolic manner. The use of depth gives the jar a sense of dimension by providing shadows to showcase the design and make it clear and recognizable to those who knew of the figure that was depicted.
The sculpt of the jar appears to be very smooth even with the cracks and can help lead to think that before the jar aged that the texture of the object was to be smooth and could considered idealized to say that the “The Son Of Horus” was also perfection as many of the deities and higher ups were . It is also possible that because the object has been through so much that maybe it once had color on it or even hieroglyphics that could tell about the jar with a description of what was inside or who the figure was. The composition of the jar is conveyed in a symmetrical way with the eyes being separated evenly, along with the ears, nose, and mouth. The jar sculpture itself is a very basic design but because of the round oval like design it’s able to even weigh out and can hold what is placed inside. Even the head or lid of the jar is prepared to be able to stand and fit on top on the vessel part, which takes planning and a design element of what needs to be done to seal the jar.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 2 November 2016
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