Anubis, the Jackal-god, the god of Embalmment

In this post we continue to look at some of the displays of the Egyptian Museum at Cairo, Egypt.

This statue of Anubis is situated on the cover of a casket in the form of a shrine. The shrine was on a litter used to carry the image of the god in processions.

Portable Simulacrum of Anubis. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

The Anubis Shrine was included in the burial equipment of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, otherwise known as King Tut. His tomb was discovered in the valley of the Kings in 1922 by Howard Carter, in the Treasure Room.

ANU′BIS (Ἄνουβις), an Egyptian divinity, worshipped in the form of a dog, or of a human being with a dog’s head. In the worship of this divinity several phases must be distinguished, as in the case of Ammon. It was in all probability originally a fetish, and the object of the worship of the dog, the representative of that useful species of animals. Subsequently it was mixed up and combined with other religious systems, and Anubis assumed a symbolical or astronomical character, at least in the minds of the learned.

( In W. Smith (Ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (Vol. 1, p. 218). Little, Brown, and Company.)

When this statue was discovered there was a scribe’s ivory tabled that had belonged to Meritaten, one of the six daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

In Egyptian mythology Anubis, represented with the head of a dog/hyena, often with the body of a man, was considered lord of the necropolis and oversaw embalming rites. He was responsible for guiding the dead in the underworld and presenting them before Osiris for the weighing of the heart.

The idolatrous veneration of the dog by the Egyptians is shown in the worship of their dog-god Anubis, to whom temples and priests were consecrated, and whose image was borne in all religious ceremonies. Cynopolis, the present Minieh, situated in the lower Thebais, was built in honour of Anubis. The priests celebrated his festivals there with great pomp.

(Watson, R. In A Biblical and Theological Dictionary (p. 314). Lane & Scott.).

Click image for larger view.

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