The Tutankhamun Exhibit
Statues, Sculptures and Containers
Recumbent Figure of Anubis
This recumbent figure of a jackal represents the god Anubis. Slightly more than three feet long, it crouched protectively near the entrance to the Treasury. Carved of wood that has been covered with a black resin, the life-size statue has gilded ears, collar and scarf. His nails are made of silver, the eyebrow and cosmetic line are gilded metal, and the eye is calcite and obsidian. The base upon which he rests, composed of carved and gilded wood, takes the shape of a shrine. Each side contains a central pattern bordered on three sides by an inscription. Symbols of the gods Isis and Osiris occur in some of the panels. The shrine is actually a compartmentalized chest which contained among other things, eight large pendants. Under the base was a sledge with four carrying poles.
The statue was originally covered with a thin shawl and scarf, and around his neck was a floral garland. Over the figure was fringed linen that bore an inscription dated the seventh year of Akhenaton's reign.
Anubis was the god of embalming, and, although in the earliest times he was the primary god of the Underworld, he is eventually replaced in that role by Osiris. At the judgment of the dead, Anubis is the "master of the balance", the scale which weighs the heart of the deceased against the feather of Maat. If the pans do not tilt, the deceased would be brought before the god of the Underworld, Osiris, having been judged "true of voice". The hearts of those who did not pass the test were devoured by a mythical beast.