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.

Valley of the Kings

September 11, 2010

In previous posts we have featured Tut and Merneptah.  Both of these pharaohs were entombed in the Vally of the Kings at Thebes.

Tombs for Tut and Merneptah. Valley of the Kings. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

The peak of al-Qurn dominates the Theban hills.

Al-Qurn. Valley of the Kings at Thebes. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

During the 16th trough 11th centuries BC this area was the burial grounds for the pharaohs and nobles of the New Kingdom, ancient Egypt’s 18th through 20 dynasties.  Sixty-three tombs have been discovered here.  My daughter and I were able to visit Merneptah’s tomb in 2003.  This is the approach.

Merneptah's Tomb. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

It was thrilling to me to go inside the tomb, realizing that this was the burial site for the pharaoh that mentioned Israel by name in the Merneptah stele.  That is the earliest reference to Israel outside the biblical text, and dates back to 1207 BC.  See our previous post.

Entrance to Merneptah Tomb. Valley of the Kings. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Photos inside the tomb were not permitted.  I did get to see the Merneptah’s elaborate sarcophagus cover.

Below is the view looking out from the tomb entrance.

View from outside Merneptah's tomb. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Remember to click on images for higher resolution.

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