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Author Topic: Anubis and Mummification  (Read 3915 times)

Offline M'aqanitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: gb
Anubis and Mummification
« on: December 03, 2015, 01:58:51 pm »
Not sure if this belongs here or in the Netjeru section, but oh well.

As I said in a previous forum post, I'm making a documentary for my history degree course on dispelling myths about the Kemetic gods.

I have a couple of questions about Anubis and mummification that I could really use some help with, if anyone's able :)

I've heard a suggestion that the ancients believed mummification was essential for passing on into the afterlife, since the body needed to be whole and preserved for the soul to enter Aaru. Is this true, or is it another misconception?
I've also heard that the reason for the mummification process is because it's how Anubis preserved Wesir's body, and "if it's good enough for the gods, it's good enough for us" was the reason it became a mortal practice. Is this also true?

Is it also true that people who performed mummification wore Anubis masks?

Thanks in advance for any information.
Sat Ra her Wepwawet-Yinepu
Meryt Bast her Djehuty

Never stop smiling, and you will always stay firmly on your feet. :)

Offline Temseniaset

  • Sema Kau Bak
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2015, 05:54:07 pm »
Hotep:

Mummification was essential for the Ka to be able to recognise their body to be able to have their Ka fed through the offering chapel or through the offerings scenes in the tomb.  However if the mummy was destroyed a statue could be used instead.

As for the Wesir being the first mummy (which is true), there are 2 myths.  The first one if from the Old Kingdom of Aset and Nebt Het were the ones who created the first mummy.  Within the New Kingdom the myth turned Yinepu from a son of Ra into the son of Wesir thereby making him the creator of the first mummy.  It all depends on the time era.
Senebty
Temseniaset,
Sat Aset Serqet
Meryt Wesir Sokar, Yinepu Wepwawet, Khepra, Heru Sa Aset, Ra
Fedw diviner

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 06:56:57 pm »
Em hotep, Abigail!

If you haven't already, do check out Bezenwepwy's site Per-Sabu. Hers are the best resources on Jackal Divinities anywhere that aren't directly in/from the late Terence DuQuesne(Bezenwepwy's mentor)'s texts. These two entries are the most relevant to your queries:

http://www.per-sabu.org/aspects-and-roles1.html

http://www.per-sabu.org/anubis-and-the-king.html

Regarding any and every aspect of mummification itself, you can do no better than looking up Salima Ikram's texts. A lot of her texts have previews on Google Books, and some of her articles are on academia.edu and jstor.org

Hope this helps!

Senebty!
Sard
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

Offline Bezenwepwy

  • Divined Remetj
  • Country: gb
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 07:31:31 pm »
As for the Wesir being the first mummy (which is true), there are 2 myths.  The first one if from the Old Kingdom of Aset and Nebt Het were the ones who created the first mummy.  Within the New Kingdom the myth turned Yinepu from a son of Ra into the son of Wesir thereby making him the creator of the first mummy.  It all depends on the time era.

It's a bit more complicated than that. The myths aren't entirely formed yet in the Old Kingdom although there are certainly traces. Anubis is undeniably associated with mummification during this time period though. And as Terence DuQuesne wrote in Jackal Divinities I, "In the Pyramid Texts, traces are discernable of the myth of the dismemberment of Osiris, recorded in detail by classical authors, and of the god's subsequent reintegration through the magical skills of Isis and Anubis. However, it is not until the Middle Kingdom that we find an explicit statement that Anubis was responsible for revivifying the corpse of Osiris." Something which Anubis certainly is associated with in the Pyramid Texts is the transfiguration of the king after purification and other funerary rituals. Again, Terence writes, "The king receives the offering of a foreleg in the temple of Anubis and also white bread which is sacred to him. Cool water is provided in the god's house by his daughter Qebhut. Anubis also cleanses him and washes his entrails. Among the deities who open the pharaoh's mouth are Upwawet and Anubis. In the beyond, the king's transfiguration is ordered by Anubis, whose command enables his ascent. The god meets him in the netherworld, guides him, and accompanies him on the way to the Field of Rushes. The process of ascent is facilitated by Anubis, who with the other jackal gods opens the gates of the sky for him. The rungs of the ladder on which the king climbs to the sky have been made from his emblem the imywt."

Cool stuff, right?

It likewise isn't until the MK that Anubis is called the son of Re, which occurs in CT 908. (No such details are provided in the OK.) And when it comes to the question of which came first, Anubis the Embalmer or Anubis the son of Osiris, it is most certainly the former.

As for the question of the purpose of mummification, I seem to recall C. Riggs saying some interesting things about it in her book "Unwrapping Ancient Egypt." If I'm recalling it correctly, she thinks the point of mummification was not to preserve the body in a recognizable form per se, but to transform it into a divine object (much like a cult statue.) And that this process of transformation was as important as the finished object? I'd have to flip through the book to see if I'm getting the details of it right, but I can recommend it as a pretty interesting read in places.

And yes, there is evidence to suggest that priests of Anubis wore masks.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 08:02:48 pm by Bezenwepwy »
On the Temple Steps - My amulet shop.
Per-Sabu.org - More jackals than you can shake a stick at.
Big Bad Jackal - Another jackal-laden venue.

Offline Temseniaset

  • Sema Kau Bak
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 07:51:09 pm »
I'm just started to read that book, an interesting theory and one I can understand, but most Egyptologists still look at the accepted theory of recognition.  I kept my answer fairly short to avoid a brain dump, especially for someone new  it can be overwhelming.,
I maybe have the wrong info when it comes to OK and MK but I have read that Anubis was considered the son of Ra for the mummification of Asar, just can't remember where I had read it, too many essays and too much info that makes my head hurt. 
Senebty
Temseniaset,
Sat Aset Serqet
Meryt Wesir Sokar, Yinepu Wepwawet, Khepra, Heru Sa Aset, Ra
Fedw diviner

Offline Bezenwepwy

  • Divined Remetj
  • Country: gb
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2015, 08:00:19 pm »
It's CT 908 which talks about Re sending his fourth son down to help Osiris.
On the Temple Steps - My amulet shop.
Per-Sabu.org - More jackals than you can shake a stick at.
Big Bad Jackal - Another jackal-laden venue.

Offline Temseniaset

  • Sema Kau Bak
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2015, 08:19:23 pm »
Ah there's my mistake I thought it was PT not the CT.  I really need get that book by Terence.  Damn Jennifer I should have known this was you. LOL
Senebty
Temseniaset,
Sat Aset Serqet
Meryt Wesir Sokar, Yinepu Wepwawet, Khepra, Heru Sa Aset, Ra
Fedw diviner

Offline M'aqanitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: gb
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 01:06:57 am »
Thank you so much for all the helpful information! :D

Is there much modern continuation of the belief that the body needs all these rites and preservation methods performed on it in Kemetic Orthodox or has that practice been left behind?
Sat Ra her Wepwawet-Yinepu
Meryt Bast her Djehuty

Never stop smiling, and you will always stay firmly on your feet. :)

Offline Bezenwepwy

  • Divined Remetj
  • Country: gb
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 06:26:49 am »
A couple of things which your question has prompted me to say:

Different beliefs surfaced at different times in regards to what exactly a person needs to survive in the afterlife. And bearing in mind that only the very rich could even afford mummification. The vast majority of Egyptians continued to be buried directly in the sand and while they probably had their own less elaborate rites, it's something important to bear in mind. Even if you were rich enough to be mummified, tomb robbing and destruction is an issue at all time periods so it was never safe to pin all hopes on one's physical corpse.

In "Exploring Religion in Ancient Egypt," Quirke says, "Yet a wider sense of the survival of life, anchored in a physical body, may be at the heart of the culture, expressed not in the mummified body, but in the concept of the immortalized akh."

There's also an anthropological concept of distributed personhood and extended mind which I think aligns closely with the idea of a person's ka surviving after death. It essentially has to do with what a person leaves behind as an extension of their being in the world and which can be interacted with by the living.

Mummificiation today, as it was in ancient times, is very expensive I believe and I'm not sure very many places even do it. So it isn't a requirement or modernly held belief. Much more so would be the hope that a person is remembered and in this way kept alive in the community.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 06:30:01 am by Bezenwepwy »
On the Temple Steps - My amulet shop.
Per-Sabu.org - More jackals than you can shake a stick at.
Big Bad Jackal - Another jackal-laden venue.

Offline M'aqanitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: gb
Re: Anubis and Mummification
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2015, 09:03:33 am »
Thank you! Very informative! :D
Sat Ra her Wepwawet-Yinepu
Meryt Bast her Djehuty

Never stop smiling, and you will always stay firmly on your feet. :)

 


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