Friday, November 19, 2010

What Did You Enjoy About This Blog?

What Could Be Done to Improve This Blog?

What Happened to The Organs of The Poor Egyptians?

What Organ Did Each Son of Horus Protect?

Science in Ancient Egypt

So we have talked of many different topics, but now it is time to get down to the real question. Why did the Ancient Egyptians remove the organs? Now, I'm not going to give the mythical stuff, but the actually scientific answer! I had to do a LOT of researching for this one paragraph because surprise, surprise, there aren't many books or articles about canopic jars. So the reason why the organs were removed in the first place was to slow down decay! It is known that soft organs, such as the organs usually taken out, are not easily persevered. The Egyptians were not only  thinking about fantasy, but also science!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Upper & Lower Casket

The Egyptian royalty had a few demands for their journey into the Afterlife, they demanded that the poor Egyptians would be buried in the worst way possible or at least in a way that didn't surpass the elites' burials. So when the time came to be, well... dead not only did the poor have a dog bed like coffin, but also when their organs were taken out, they were thrown into the river like cow pies! The high-class Egyptians always got the better end, even in organ storage when their "amazing" organs were taken out and were washed in wine. At the times when canopic jars were hardly ever used, the organs were stuffed back into the chest cavity and smothered by linen, but that was only for the elite while the lower-class born were stuck with sawdust. Now, don't fret for those downtrod for there is a little sweet sliver of irony for them! It is fact that the mummies of the poor whom were left in the dessert are better preserved than most high-end mummies! I know the wealthy are often treated better in life, but later when you're at the Weighing of The Heart ceremony, you'll be the one going to paradise while the evil jerks who bullied you are eaten by a horrific monster! Don't you feel better now?

Baboon, Human, Jackal and Falcon, Oh My!

The Egyptians were very strict when it came to descriptive writing, weren't they? I mean with how detailed their art, writing style, and legends were, the people of Egypt must have been describing things on a college level by the tender age of nine or eleven! These loony Egyptians even had a certain way of arranging the canopic jars, falcon on the left with the jackal next to it since they're like best friends, and the baboon and human should be the farthest away from each other, since they both fight about which came first, the human or the monkey. Who are these animals? Oh, they're the Sons of Horus, who guard the organs! The baboon-headed, Hapy, guarded the lungs and the one with the out of place human head was named Imsety was the guardian of the liver. Duamutef, the jackal-headed son, handled the stomach and upper intestines, while the falcon-headed, Qebehsenuef, kept a watchful eye on the lower intestines. Apparently, Horus did not trust his children very much because the four animal headed boys were each supervised by a goddess. If you ask me being a bit worried is fine for a parent to do, but having your children being guarded by a powerful immortal is just pushing it!

Extreme Canopic Jars Make-Over

The 1st signs of canopic jars were in Ancient Egypt during the 4th dynasty in the tomb of queen Meresankh III at Giza, from the reign of Menkaure. (NOTE: I don't know how to pronounce the names either, so stop asking!) during the time of chaos, which sounds very pleasant, in Egyptian history was when the lids of canopic jars started to take shape of a human head instead of a flat or domed shape. Not only had the Egyptians redone the toppers, but also they started to have a vast amount of inscription carved into the canopic jars! Previously, the writing on the jars had been bland with only the name of the deceased on it, now the jars fallowed the design of contemporary coffins, with strings of text scrambling around the canvas. At the end of the Middle Kingdom, a classic pattern for canopic jars were found! The canopic jars were now complete, the containers now had extensive writing and were now finished off quite well with, sometimes, an explosion of color. The Egyptians were surely honored to have made this extravagant achievement! I'm also convinced that the mummies whom had own their organs placed in such a beautiful vase were so grateful that they spewed tears of joy, disregarding that they were dead. Though some mummies didn't cry happy tears, but wallowed in frustration when they were stuck with the rigid, unshapely, canopic jars in the later years. It was odd, the canopic jars started out plain, went to sparkly like that certain vampire heart-throb, back to their atrocious form, then right up to the gorgeous once more! Either the canopic jars kept hitting puberty or artistic talent skipped a generation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Importance of Canopic Jars in Ancient Egypt

During ancient times in Egypt, the Egyptians believed that the organs were an required part for the deceased to be reborn into the Afterlife. This is so because the aim of mummification was to change the body for it's new existence rather than maintain it as it had been in the time of the living. In other words, keeping on the Gods' good sides was MORE important than not being worm food. How about we stray away from the Fun Facts and move on to the contents of the famous organ-coffins, canopic jars? It doesn't matter if you said yes or no, we're doing it anyway! So to begin I will say this, YOUR organs would be treated differently depending on their importance in Egypt. The top of the organ food chain were the lungs, liver, stomach, intestines, plus the heart which was left in place due to it being the center control of humanity and all. The lower section of the chain was a special place for the brain, its importance and function was apparently "misunderstood".  The popular organs were preserved, each wrapped separately, and stored in a set of four canopic jars that were placed close to coffin/sarcophagus. The internal organs were not just great, but also the canopic jars that which held them were too. This is true because even when the organs stopped being taken out of body, there was still always a set of fours jars, that were not just containers, but also a magical  protector for the organs. Wow, I never thought I'd be so excited over a couple of inanimate objects!