Funerary Papyrus of Djehutymes

Vignette from the funerary papyrus of the scribe Djehutymes. In ancient Egypt, jackals and dogs were very common in the land between desert and urban areas, so they were associated with the world of necropolis and the dead. Specifically, their wandering among the tombs was interpreted as a perpetual guard service to the deceased.

The black jackal lent its features to different gods: Anubis, Wepwawet, Khenti-Amentiu and others, but there was a particular category of jackals in the divine sphere that were known as sTAw: they were the canids that pulled the solar boat during the night.

Funerary Papyrus of Djehutymes

To the right is depicted the solar boat pulled by four dogs or jackals. This differs from most of the canonical representations, in which they are human beings. In the lower register, two falcon-headed capture whoever would threaten the sunrise.

To the left, two pairs of cobras are workshipping the hieroglyph of the horizon, symbol of the sun as it rises. In the upper register, the seven seated characters with cobra heads represent darkness.

Funerary Papyrus of Djehutymes
Funerary Papyrus of Djehutymes

Third Intermediate Period, 21st Dynasty, ca. 1069-945 BC. Cyperus papyrus, ink. 23 x 104 cm. Drovetti collection (1824). Now in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Cat. 1781