Statuette of Duamutef

This Jackal-headed god statuette, one of the four gods protecting the organs of Tutankhamun, is easily mistaken for Anubis but is in fact Duamutef “He who adores his mother”. Duamutef is one of the Four Sons of Horus, to whose particular protection the stomach was entrusted once it had been removed from the body during mummification. He himself was protected or helped by the goddess Neith. The god was closely connected with the east.

On sarcophagi from the Middle Kingdom on he is usually shown on the eastern side of the foot end. Duamutef is depicted as a man or a man with the head of a jackal. The canopic jar in question could also have a lid shaped like a jackal’s head.

Statuette of Duamutef
Statuette of Duamutef. Photo from Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery London Nov 2019 – May 2020. via THEFARMparis/Twitter

The name Duamutef means “He who adores his mother”. In war, the most frequent cause of death was from injuries in the torso and stomach.

The deity protecting this organ was associated with death by war and gained the name Duamutef, meaning “adoring his motherland”. Duamutef was originally represented as a man wrapped in mummy bandages.

From the New Kingdom onwards, he is shown with the head of a jackal. In some cases his appearance is confused or exchanged with that of his falcon-headed brother Qebehsenuef, so he has the head of a falcon and Qebehsenuef has the head of a jackal.

Duamutef usually was depicted on coffins and as the lid of canopic jars. Many images of the Judgement of the Dead show him together with his brothers in front of Osiris on a small lily flower.

New Kingdom, late 18th Dynasty, reign of Tutankhamun, ca. 1332-1323 BC. From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes.

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