Anubis, the Jackal-god, the god of Embalmment

January 5, 2023

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.

King Tut

September 7, 2010

This month’s issue of National Geographic features King Tut, with a report on recent findings resulting from DNA testing.

In Egyptian chronology, King Tut (Tutankhamun) fits in the 18th dynasty, and the New Kingdom, 1550-1070 B.C.  This most famous pharaoh was really a minor king; he ascended the throne at age 9 and died at age 18 (1333-1323 B.C.). But it is because his tomb escaped the attention of centuries of grave robbers and when finally discovered (1922) was still intact and replete with thousands of artifacts valued in the millions of dollars, that King Tut is so well known.

The National Geographic article documents the results of DNA testing on King Tut and other mummies believed to have been family members.

…our team was able to establish with a probability of better than 99.99 percent that Amenhotep III was the father of the individual in KV55, who was in turn the father of Tutankhamum

…the KV55 mummy, the son of Amenhotep III and Tiye and the father of Tutankhamun, is almost certainly Akhentaten.

The article makes an interesting read.  We photographed Tut’s funeral mast, crafted of gold, in the Egyptian Museum in 2003.

King Tut's Funeral Mask. Egyptian Museum. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Since our visit at that time, it is no longer permitted to take photos in the museum.  Hopefully, that prohibition will be lifted in the future.

Biblically, the reign of this king would have transpired during the period of the Judges.

Click on image for higher resolution.

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