Statue of the Anubis Jackal

According to spell 151 of the Book of the Dead, in the tomb chamber, a magic brick with an amulet of Anubis jackal representing the god should be placed on the west wall, facing east to the mummy of the deceased. In this role, the seated jackal Anubis is protecting the dead from any aggressor. Larger figures of Anubis seated on a shrine have the same protective power.

In one of the final ‘acts’ in the voyage of the dead past obstacles on their journey to the Afterlife, Anubis can be the god who leads the dead to the Hall of Judgement and the god who assists in the Judgement itself. In the Judgement, Anubis ensures balance and scales are working correctly when the weight of the heart of the deceased cannot be heavier than the emblem of the goddess Maat if the deceased is not to be consigned to oblivion.

Figure of the Anubis Jackal
Figure of the Anubis Jackal

In some versions of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs Anubis assisted in the mummification and rebirth of the god Osiris. This responsibility for mummification and eventual rebirth is the same role Anubis fulfills for the human dead.

As the god ‘who is in the embalming tent’ he oversees the process of mummification, and is often shown leaning over the mummified body. Anubis also supports the upright mummy near the tomb entrance in Opening of the Mouth ceremonies, where rituals ensure the justified dead will be able to breathe, speak and see again.

In Secrets of the Afterlife you can find Anubis on many objects including: the stele of Deniuenkhons, the four coffins, the papyrus of Nodjmet, two sheets from the papyrus of Nebseny, the papyrus of Padihorpare, and this statue.

Anubis or Anpu was the god of embalming and the dead. Since jackals were often seen in cemeteries, the ancient Egyptians believed that Anubis watched over the dead. Anubis was the god who helped to embalm Osiris after he was killed by Seth.

Ptolemaic Period, ca. 305-30 BC. Now in the British Museum. EA 47991