Teacher’s Talk: Humanities

Today during the Humanities class, students discussed ancient Egypt and their views of the afterlife. Ancient Egyptians mummified their dead, a process that was very important to their religious beliefs. During the mummification process, all major organs were removed. The liver, lungs, intestines, and stomach were each placed in their own jar, called a Canopic Jar, because the Egyptians believed that they would be needed in the afterlife.

Canopic Jars were decorated with sculpted heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Horus was god of the sky and depicted as a falcon-headed man. Each organ was guarded by a different jar: the liver by Imsety (human head), the lungs by Hapi (baboon head), the stomach by Duamatef (jackel head), and the intestines by Qebehsenuf (falcon head). Today students painted their own Canopic jars. The jars themselves are modeled after those that belonged to Ramses the Second.