Anubis: Egypt’s God of the Dead

By kellogvanderhague on January 22, 2011 In Religion





To ancient Egyptians, the entire universe followed the model of the area in which people were located; dominated by the sun and the Nile, both equally capable of providing life as well as death. Their environment was quite orderly. The waters flowed from North to South, as the sun rose in the East and set in the West. Each and every year the Nile river would burst its riverbank, flow out across the fields after which it would recede, providing fertilized terrain.? Everyday living, with the ancient Egyptians, acquired an absolute rhythm of which they enshrined in their own mythology. ?

There were many other gods that also took many shapes and had many names. Each district and village had it’s own gods and myths, nevertheless a number of gods appeared to be prevalent to all areas of the country and because of this these are the most commonly known today, specifically Osiris, Isis, Anubis, Bes, Ma’at, Khum, Seth, Hathor, Bastet,Thoth, Sobek, Amun Ra, Mut along with Khonsu.?

It is likely that Anubis was a key deity belonging to the very first Egyptians, he was certainly the chief god of the 17th Upper Egyptian nome, an urban area the Greeks called ‘Cynopolis’ or City of the Dogs. His basic role changed with the growth of the cult of Osiris. Myth said that Anubis was a son of Osiris, not by way of Isis his wife, but by Nepthys (who had disguised herself as Isis) Anxious concerning her own husbands anger at her giving birth, Nepthys then asked Isis to become Anubis’ foster mother. ?

In our contemporary world Anubis is known largely as being the ‘God of the Dead’ nonetheless this includes connotations which might be quite absent from his part within Egyptian religion. The afterlife was very serious to the Ancient Egyptians and they invested a lot of their lives preparing for it, believing that after they passed away they’d go to Duat, the underworld, to get judged. The voyage was recognized to be demanding, so numerous spells along with incantations were required for helping them uncover their particular way.

Most of these were written in the ‘Book of Coming Forth by Day’, referred to as the ‘Book of the Dead’ that was positioned within the coffin.? About 17 feet long the books of the successful would likely contain their individual range of spells and beautification, at the same time those not as well off would probably acquire one ‘off the peg’ and just add the title of the loved one. It truly is certain from the numerous types of books that have survived, that Anubis wasn’t, as a consequence to be dreaded or feared,? he was instead the friend of the dead; as ‘he who is upon his mountain’ Anubis was a protector, not just of the dead, but also of their resting places.? This could possibly be the main cause of his therianthropic rendering, being a male with the head of a jackal; jackals were usually to be found in or around a necropolis.

Anubis is always shown colored black because that is the color of a body once it has been mummified.? His zoomorphic form is apparently that of a jackal, even though a number of scholars argue that it is actually a jackal/dog hybrid. Howard Carter, expounding on perhaps probably the most renowned Anubis statue of all, the Anubis statue from the grave of Tutankhamen, mentions canine like ears and pointed muzzle, though the low slung tail of a jackal.

A Basenji, the dog breed which contains the nearest similarity to an Anubis statue, features a distinctive curly tail.? Regardless of whether this is a deliberately ambiguous depiction to be found in each and every Egyptian sculpture of Anubis is yet to be learned.

As the ancient Egyptians had a strong faith in the presence of a soul or spirit, they were just as certain that both physical structure and spirit are necessary to be able to take pleasure in the afterlife; it was this perception which lead them towards the creation of ever more advanced techniques of mummification to maintain the entire body and to the construction of tombs to house it.?

It had been the job of Anubis to guard the body and safeguard it during the entire mummification process when he would preside over the embalming of the body as well as the ‘opening of the way’, the ceremony where the departed started to be able to communicate and eat again in preparation for the afterlife. For this reason an Anubis statue, more-so than any other Egyptian statue, seemed to be seen in every burial place.

Anubis final, and maybe most critical role was to guide the deceased through the underworld to the Hall of Two Truths in which he (always shown being a heart) could be judged. The belief was that each person (including Pharaoh) could be required to weigh his soul against the feather of Ma’at, the goddess of justice. As guardian of the dead Anubis examined that the scale was precisely horizontal prior to the judgement. If the soul was too heavy it was Anubis role to give the dead to Ammit, a dreadful demon who would eradicate the deceased permanently, but if the judgement had been favorable the deceased was viewed as having lead an excellent and honest existence and was welcomed by Osiris to the afterlife.

Regardless of whether like a jackal or possibly a jackal headed man, some sort of Anubis statue was a part of each and every Egyptian household, reassuring the occupants that even in loss they would possess fair and just guardian and protector to lead the way to immortality.?

Kellog Vanderhague recently finished a major renovation of his downtown loft, bringing a peaceful, Zen vibe to his funky flat. He found a number of great statues of Buddha for sale at Big Buddha Statue online. He loves the new look and is thinking of decorating his bathroom using Hindu statues to create an exotic, charming motif.