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 fulfils 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.

Figure of the Anubis Jackal
Figure 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 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.

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

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