For my powerpoint-style school project, I decided to do canopic jars. I learned about them from a video game called Hexen II, which made me seriously consider changing the topic of my report on why video games are basically homework and why we should all play video games like Hexen II in school all day long.
Horus's first son, alphabetically, is Duamutef, whose name in the ancient tongue means roughly "He who adores his mother" according to at least five websites. His mother was Isis, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Duamutef is depicted as a mummy with the head of a jackal. Importantly, in ancient Egyptian funerary rites, Duamutef is also the name of the canopic jar containing the stomach and small intestines of a mummy. The lid of the jar is a depiction of a jackal's head. The jar usually has some kind of heiroglyphics, which probably amount to a spell or something cool like that.
FAQ about Duamutef:
Q. Why does Duamutef have the head of a jackal?
In Egyptian religion, the jackal, like the cat, crocodile, scarab, scorpion, baboon, falcon, human, ibis, and hippopotamus, is revered. Most cultures associate animals with what appear to be random and incongruous qualities, such as dogs with loyalty, despite that the most loyal dog I've ever known bit me far more often than the least loyal human. In Egypt the jackal was associated with the quality of loving its mother, and my guess is that a jackal does not leave its mother's den until its mother starts biting it, which occurs around age thirty.
Q. Why does Duamutef have to protect the stomach and small intestines of mummies?
A. Ancient Egyptian views of anatomy varied greatly from our modern antibiotic-resistant understandings: it's commonly known that they believed the brain was nothing more than the origin of mucus, even though it's not. It's uncommonly known that they believed the stomach and intestines were a single organ, which is why they didn't jar the small intestines with the large intestines, which is what I'll tell them to do if I ever meet a professor who lets me use his time machine.
Not to be confused with the popular emotion, the god Hapy is the second son of Horus. His mother is either Isis or Serket; what can be gleaned from genetic information is slight. The lid of the Hapy canopic jar is a baboon's head, which also happens to be the head Hapy the god carries upon his neck. In the jar under his jurisdiction the lungs of the deceased are kept.
FAQ about Hapy
Q. Why does Hapy have the head of a babboon?
A. The question might be more fruitfully asked, why does Hapy have the head of a hamadryas baboon, the northernmost of the babboons? Hapy once had the head of a human being, but it was altered due to a curse by the goddess who was simultaneously his mother, wife, and sister, Serkhet, I think? It is difficult to put a curse on someone like that because you need to take into account how the heck certain words can effect a change in, among other things, bone-structure. If you ask me the very idea of a curse is absurd and confuses words with the things they reference. Like if I said, "My vengeance cannot come too soon / for now your head's of a babboon," the things I said would have to do the same thing as probably years and years of elective/abominable/impossible head surgery.
Q. Why does Hapy have to protect the lungs of mummies?
A. The hamadryas (pronounce HIM - uh - LAY - uhz) babboon's call is perhaps so well known that it is the first thing anyone thinks of when Egypt comes to mind. "Cow-a-wow-oo" is how several of my primatologist friends have described it, though in Russian it is 'mung-mung-mung.' Without lungs there is no call, and that's all there is to it.
Imsety is the human-headed son of Horus. I don't know what his name means, but I am running out of steam plus am the summer school teacher's pet so I'll get an A all the same.
FAQ about Imsety
Q. Why does Imsety have the head of a human?
A. Because he's a human.
Q. Why does Imsety have to protect the livers of mummies?
A. Because humans are alive. And they're alive because they have livers. I mean, that's why they're called livers.
FAQ about Qebehsenuef
Q. Why does Qebehsenuef have the head of a falcon?
Q. Why does Qebehsenuef have to protect the large intestines of mummies?
FAQ about Ancient Egyptian Funerary Organ Removal In General:
Q. Why were the stomachs, intestines, lungs, and liver removed from mummies in the first place?
A. You could get the germ-zone explanation, which is that according to current surgeon general Everett Koop, the intestines and stomach are almost 90% bacteria, and that the lungs are full of a lifetime of the very sorts of respirable filth that bacteria inside of dead people like to chew.
Q. Who dares disturb my blissful sleep?