An Egyptian Alabaster Canopic Jar For Pairikap
Egypt, Late Period, Ca 715 BC. Honey color alabaster jar carefully inscribed with four columns of hieroglyphic text which has been fully translated as follows:
Line 1: Words to be spoken by Nephthys: I hide / protect the secret(s), doing "bs.t"
Line 2: while giving protection for Hapy, who is within me [text has "you" (fem)]
Line 3: the protection for the Osiris Pairikap, whom Imenetes… made, is the protection
Line 4: of Hapy. The Osiris Pairikapu is Hapy.
Hapy (one of the children of Horus) protects Pairikap (more in particular his lungs, since that is the organ which Hapy protects; this jar therefore must have contained the lungs), and to make this protection more effective Pairikap is even identified with Hapy, making him a god himself. Nephthys in turn protects Hapy, thereby making the protective action of Hapy even more successful.
Line 1: What the term "bs.t" in column 1 has to do with notions of introducing (a person to another person or to a place, also in the hereafter, and also to a secret) as well as, intransitively, with having access (also to secrets).
Line 2: The name "Hapy" is apparently considered feminine here in view of the grammatical form of the word following it; similarly the text says "within you" in the feminine form, whereas normally the spell has "within me."
Provenance: Ex-private collection of Bernice Greenberg of Art Resources, Michigan, ex-1993 Drouot Saleroom, ex-French Private Collection before that.
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Aged irregular and eroded surface.