Finding Canopic Jars

We congratulate the team of the South Asasif Conservation Project on finding the canopic jars of the Lady of the House Amenirdis in the tomb of Karabasken (TT 391).

Fig. 0
The name of Amenirdis on the Duamutef canopic jar.

The discovery was recently announced by Dr. Mostafa Waziri. General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

It was an unforgettable day for (from left to right) Ali Hassan Ibrahim, Abdelrazk Mohamed Ali, Hussein Ahmed Hussein, Marion Brew, Katerina Ball and John Billman.

Fig. 1

The set of canopic jars was found on the 7th of May, 2018 in an intrusive burial compartment in the pillared hall of the tomb of Karabasken by the archaeologists Marion Brew, Katerina Ball, Hassan Mohamed Ali and Reis Mohamed Ali.  The room, accessed via a staircase carved between the 4th and 5th pillars of the southern side of the hall, was discovered in 2016.

Fig. 2

The shaft in the south-east corner of the room and burial chambers were cleared in April-May 2018. The 3m deep shaft leads to two burial chambers oriented to the east and west of the shaft. Both chambers were roughly carved and undecorated.

Fig. 3

The canopic jars were found in the eastern chamber in a nearly cubic cutting in the floor and photographed by Katherine Blakeney.

The happy moment of discovery was shared by Mohamed Shebib, inspector Hussein Ahmed Hussein, Abdelrazk Mohamed Ali, Katherine Blakeney and Reis Mohamed Ali.

Fig. 6

The jars and lids, made of Egyptian alabaster, needed emergency conservation performed by a team of MoA conservators including Ali Hassan Ibrahim, Mohamed Shebib, Ali Taib Mohamed, Taib Said Mohamed, and Mohamed El Azeb Hakem. Mohamed Shebib is performing injections.

Fig. 7

Canopic jars after conservation:

Fig. 8

The Jars were measured and registered by John Billman.

Many of the mission members gave their hears to Duamutef with his mischievous smile and elongated eyes.

Fig. 9

His erect jackal ears, connected by an area of negative space are elegantly indicated by two parallel incised lines. The jar was found in two pieces. The smoothness of the edges suggests this was the original construction and the pieces were joined in antiquity.

Fig. 10
Drawing by Katherine Blakeney.


The canopic jars will be published in the 3rd volume of the AUC series Tombs of the South Asasif Necropolis.

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