Anubis: Canine

Anubis: Canine
2 records
Anubis: god of embalming (Canine)

Until the cult of Osiris arose, Anubis was the most important god associated with the funerary cult. In the earliest times of ancient Egyptian history, Anubis was likely associated with the burial of the king and guiding him into the afterlife. He eventually came to be associated with all deceased Egyptians, not just the king. Duties he frequently performed were tending to the mummy of the deceased, leading the dead before Osiris to be judged, and weighing the heart of the deceased on the scales of justice. Anubis’s mortuary associations are made clear by his titles, for example, Foremost of the Westerners (i.e. the dead) and He Who is in the Place of Embalming.

Anubis could be represented with the body of a man and the head of a canine or in fully canine form. Scholars believe Anubis was a cross between a jackal and some other type of dog. The association of dogs with the dead probably grew out of the Egyptians’ observation that desert canines tended to disturb shallow graves with their scavenging. The black color of Anubis can be related to the black fertile soil of the Nile River Valley, which the Egyptians saw as having great potential for creation. Or, in the case of the deceased, great potential for rebirth.