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Anubis Emblem of Tutankhamun

 Emblem of Anubis from Tutankhamun Collection


This emblem is one of a pair of identical emblems found in the North-West and South-West corners of the burial chamber of Tutankhamun. (One of them is now on display in an exhibition out of the country). The upper part, made of wood overlaid with gesso and gilded, represents a pole terminating in a lotus bud and an inflated animal-skin suspended on the pole by a copper wire tail ending in a papyrus flower. 
 
The base consists of a solid alabaster (calcite) pot in which the pole is fixed. Inscribed on the base are the names and titles of Tutankhamen (given life forever and ever) and the epithet (mry inpw, imy wt: beloved of Anubis who presides over the embalming booth). In very remote times this fetish or emblem belonged to god Imywt, means (he who is in his wrappings) who was eventually identified with Anubis, the jackal god of embalming. 
 
 Anubis Emblem of Tutankhamun
 
It is recorded as early as the 1st dynasty but is best known through its association with Anubis, being depicted in the chapel of Anubis at Deir el-Bahary and elsewhere. An early example, found in 1914 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art near the pyramid of Sesostris I at EL_Lisht, was placed in a wooden shrine. Like the emblems found in Tut's tomb, it consisted of a wooden rod and an alabaster pot, but the headless animal-skin was real and it was stuffed with linen. 
 
It was however wrapped in bandages like a mummy with linen pads being placed within the bandages as packing to fill the irregularities between the skin and the rod. The pot was about two thirds full of a blueish – coloured substance, completely dried and considered to be some kind of ointment. From the above-mentioned example, it is easy to deduce how the god acquired the name (he who is in his wrappings).   


The importance of the position of Anubis emblem


The outermost shrine of Tutankhamon seems to be corresponding in style with the pavilion in which the Egyptian kings performed some of the ceremonies of their Heb-Sed (jubilee festivals). These emblems are shown on the monuments in connection with the pavilion. Tut didn't live long enough to celebrate his jubilee but the presence of these emblems would enable him to do so in the next world.
 
 
Anubis Emblem of Tutankhamun

Anubis Emblem of Tutankhamun

 
There was a certain ancient ritual known as “passing through the skin” which was one of the ways leading to resurrection. The exact method of performing this ritual is unknown. The dead can return to life through a sacrificed animal whose skin was suspended over a lotiform pole. 
 
Thus, the rite or ritual of “passing through the skin” was a passage through death to a new life. As a matter of fact, this ritual is closely linked with the Heb Sed in which the renewal is secured by certain steps among, which is the application of ointment and passing through the skin.



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