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Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation
The Howard Carter Archives
Photographs by Harry Burton
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Carter No.: 266

Handlist description: Wooden canopy on sledge with statues of Isis, Nephthys, Neith and Selket

Card/Transcription No.: 266-02


In the ritual of mummification, especially at this period, the viscera were removed from the body, preserved separately, and placed in four special receptacles, generally known as Canopic jars. These were assigned to the care of the four tutelary goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Neith and Selket, and their respective charges the genii Imsety, Hepy, Dua-mutef and Qebeh-senuef, who, according to the ancient myth having succoured Osiris in his misfortunes and saved him from hunger and thirst, were called upon to do the same for the dead. However, judging from the inscriptions upon this Canopic equipment, the viscera were not alone confided to the care of the four tutelary goddesses and their genii, they were also under the protection of Geb, Nut, Anubis, Atum, Ptah-Seker-Osiris, and a falcon god, who guard the dead.

Card no. 266-02 relating to Carter no. 266
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Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation
Concept & Direction: Jaromir Malek
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Scanning & transcript: Sue Hutchison, Elizabeth Miles, Diana Magee, Kent Rawlinson