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When ancient Egyptian people died, if they were rich enough, they paid to have their body made into a mummy to preserve it for the afterlife. Preserving the human body was a very important part of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. During the process of mummification, all of the major organs of the body were removed and placed in canopic jars.

Canopic Jars ks2

The person’s liver, intestines, lungs and stomach were placed in canopic jars. Each organ was placed in a special jar with a top representing a human animal or head.The heart was left inside the body as the ancient Egyptians believed that in the afterlife it would be weighed to see whether the person had led a good life. The canopic jars were decorated with the four sons of the God Horus.

These four protective spirits were a human, a baboon, a falcon and a jackal and each jar guarded a different organ.Imsety had a human head and protected the liver. Qebehsenuf had the head of a falcon and guarded the intestines.Happy had a baboon head and protected the lungs. Duamatef had the head of a jackal and guarded the stomach.The four canopic jars were placed inside a special chest which went into the tomb with the mummy.