About this object

Wooden figure of a recumbent jackal, painted black with a separate tail (now missing) and peg at the base for attachment to a coffin lid or chest. Anubis was a deity who appeared as either a man with a jackal’s head or as a complete jackal. He was the god of mummification and protector of the dead. He is often shown making a mummy or weighing the heart of the deceased in the Hall of Judgement. The Egyptians knew that jackals fed on the dead at night. To ease their minds, the jackal became Anubis, a guardian of the cemetery rather than a scavenger. The Egyptians called Anubis ‘he who is upon his mountain’ as if he were sitting up high guarding the cemetery. From the 25th Dynasty (after 747 BC) wooden figures of jackals like this were placed upon outermost coffin lids, placing the dead under the protection of Anubis.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    747 BC - 332 BC
  • Materials
    Paint; Wood; Gesso
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Henry Solomon Wellcome
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    20th Century early
  • Measurements
    225 mm x 76 mm x 440 mm
  • Related people


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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