Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Anubis, Big Dog of the Dead

A giant, fiberglass statue of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of the dead floats down the Thames in London Monday. But just who is this big dog, you might ask?

Anubis is the Greek name for the ancient jackal-headed god of the dead in Egyptian mythology. Prayers to Anubis, found carved on the most ancient tombs in Egypt, indicate he is associated with the Eye of Horus. He serves as both a guide of the recently departed and a guardian of the dead. It was Anubis who took newly departed souls to the Underworld and protected them on their journey.One of the reasons that the ancient Egyptians took such care to preserve their dead with sweet-smelling herbs was that it was believed Anubis would check each person with his keen canine nose. Only if they smelled pure would he allow them to enter the Kingdom of the Dead.

Now, Anubis floats merrily down the stream in England, where he is helping to promote an upcoming exhibit of Egyptian treasures.

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