Osiris-Canopus Jar

Osiris-Canopus Jar

A Canopic jar with the head of Osiris emerging from it. In the cult of Isis and Serapis, during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Osiris-Canopus jars (also known Osiris-Hydreios) were carried by priests during processions. As they are solid, each symbolically carried water from the Nile, fertility that originated from the god Osiris, one of Egypt’s earliest fertility gods.

Osiris-Canopus was named after the ancient Egyptian town of Canopus, on the western bank at the mouth of the westernmost branch of the Delta known as the Canopic or Heracleotic branch – not far from Alexandria.

Roman Period, ca. 131-138 AD. Grey basalt, from Hadrian’s Villa. Now in the Vatican Museums (Gregoriano Egizio). 22852

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