The Canopic Jar Project

Summary of Research

The Canopic Jar Project will establish novel research procedures and examine a larger series of ancient Egyptian human mummies and viscera samples from canopic jars in European and American museum collections in a truly interdisciplinary research setting. This inventive focus particularly on the contents of ancient Egyptian canopic jars can produce results, which are not obtainable by conventional ancient mummy research methods. The medical field will benefit from the understanding of pathogen evolution, which are of vital importance to increasing our understanding of the health and social structure of ancient Egypt.

Project Leader

Project Collaboration

  • Diagnostic Imaging (CT, MRI) at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, UZH

  • Histology at the Institute of Diagnostic Pathology, University Hospital Zurich

  • Radiocarbon Dating at the Institute of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, ETHZ

Selected Published Articles

  • Eppenberger PE, Cavka M, Habicht ME, Galassi FM, Rühli F. Radiological findings in ancient Egyptian canopic jars: comparing three standard clinical imaging modalities (x-rays, CT and MRI). European Radiology Experimental. 2018; 2:12. doi:10.1186/s41747-018-0048-3.

  • Senti S., Habicht M., Rayo E, Eppenberger P, Rühli F., Galassi FM (shared last authorship) Egyptian Canopics Jars at the crossroad of medicine and archaeology: overview of 100 years of research and future scientific expectations, Pathobiology, in press

  • Galassi FM, Habicht ME, Bouwman A, Rühli FJ. The Canopic Jar Project: Interdisciplinary Analysis of Ancient mummified viscera. CIPEG Journal 2017, 1: 71-79.

  • Habicht M, Bouwman A, Rühli F. Die Bedeutung von Kanopen als Quelle medizinischer und ägyptologischer Informationen. Göttinger Miszellen 237, p 25-39, 2013..

  • Gautschy R, Habicht ME, Galassi FM, Rutica D, Rühli FJ, Hannig R. A new astronomically based chronological model for the Egyptian Old Kingdom. J Egypt Hist, 2017 2017, 10 (2) 69-108.




  • Mäxi Foundation

  • Athenaeum Foundation - Dietrich Götze Stiftung für Kultur und Wissenschaft