During the mummification process, certain organs of the deceased, namely the liver, lungs, intestines and stomach, would be mummified, wrapped separately and then placed in four “canopic” jars.
These jars are known from the Old Kingdom onwards, and display certain changes over time. Beginning in the New Kingdom, these jars were topped by the heads of the “Four Sons of Horus,” who functioned as guardians for the internal organs. As seen in this example, these deities took the form of a baboon, a jackal, a falcon and a man.
This beautiful set, which has retained much of its color, are painted with the name of their owner, Isetemkheb, who held the important title Chief of the Musical Troupe of Amun-Re. She was the wife of the High Priest of Amun Pinudjem II, and the mother of King Psusennes II.
Deir el-Bahari, TT 320 (First Royal Cachette)
Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21 (ca. 1069 – 945 BC)