Canopic Jars of Maiherpri

All the four jars are in a perfect state of preservation except for some missing blue paste that was used to fill in the carved inscriptions. A spot of black resin appears in the middle of the inscriptions upon the jar, which carries invocation of Nephthys and Hapy.

The four jars were originally housed inside the Canopic chest. Two of them were found wrapped in linen; one of which is still wrapped with long strips of linen around the base, neck and surrounding the face of the stopper. The second one was partly unfastened and the wrappings around the face still remain. All the jars vary in the length and width, thus they are of non-identical shape; three jars are similar in the maximum diameter while the fourth is wider. Each of the four jars has an alabaster stopper in the form of a human head, whose facial features do not resemble those of their owner, wearing the nemes headdress.

Canopic Jars of Maiherpri
Canopic Jars of Maiherpri

Each canopic jar bears an inscription at the front, dedicated to one of the sons of Horus, and has a human-headed lid. The eyes and eyebrows are painted, bringing the faces to life. Two of the jars are wrapped in cloth, but their inscriptions can still be seen. The Canopic equipment of Maiherpri (his name can be translated as Lion of the Battlefield) is among the few examples that are complete and in a perfect state of preservation. It is made of the most expensive materials, which were not normally found in a private burial. 

This confirms the high social status of the owner, being not only an elite member of society, but also related to the royal family. This is concluded from the considerable similarities between his equipment and those of Yuya and Thuya, the owners of Tomb KV46. Since the Canopic equipment of the three owners share many resembling features, they probably belong to the same period of time. 

Vignette from Book of the Dead of Maiherpri. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 33844
Vignette from Book of the Dead of Maiherpri. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 33844

Based on all Canopic equipment found in Theban cemetery for elite owners related to the royal family, it can be concluded that they might have been even made in the same workshop. However, comparing the Canopic chests of Yuya and Thuya to that of Maiherpri reflects that those of Yuya and Thuya are more advanced. This is well emphasized by the position of the arms of the protective goddesses. We can deduce that Maiherpri was living in a time just before that of Yuya and Thuya. As the death of Yuya is believed to be in the twelfth or thirteenth regnal year of Amenhotep III , therefore it is acceptable to say that Maiherpri was probably living during the reign of king Thutmose IV.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1479-1425 BC. From the Tomb of Maiherpri (KV36), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 33780a, JE 33780b, JE 33780c, JE 33780d

— Maiherpri’s Canopic Chest and Jars from the Cairo Museum, a full publication

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