Yasser Metwally

My life…and the world

Anubis: The ancient Egyptian god of dead

The author: Professor Yasser Metwally


This jackal-headed god looked after the dead, and was in charge of the important task of mummification. Anubis can appear as either a black canine with long sharp ears, or as a man with a canine head. The black colour of Anubis is not natural to jackals or to the wild dogs of Egypt; it may refer to the discoloration of a body after death and during mummification.

The black colour also refers to the rich dark soil of Egypt, from which new growth came every year; in similar manner, the dead would come to new life after burial. Dogs, as animal companions, were present in Egypt from the very beginning. Sometimes dogs were buried with their masters. It may have given the Egyptians comfort to think of such an animal as guarding the cemeteries, protecting the dead.

Anubis: The ancient Egyptian god of dead

Figure 1. Anubis: The ancient Egyptian god of dead


November 27, 2009 - Posted by | Ancient Egyptian panorama

1 Comment »

  1. […] 1. Anubis was the ancient Egyptian god associated with mummification and burial rituals; here, he attends to […]

    Pingback by Burial customs in Ancient Egypt « Yasser Metwally | November 27, 2009 | Reply

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