Anubis, the god of embalmers and his association with royal tombs: Mural paintings depicting Anubis during funeral rituals

Deep in the eternal sands of ancient Egypt, stands the dark and mysterious figure of Anubis, god of embalmers and guardian of the dead. In this article, we explore Anubis' prominent place in funerary beliefs. Celebrated and feared, his imprint is indelible in the Egyptian imagination, as evidenced by the mural paintings adorning the tombs of the pharaohs. Let's plunge together into this fascinating universe where art and mythology meet, to unravel the secrets of Anubis and his eternal role in the afterlife.


Anubis and Egyptian funerary beliefs

The role of Anubis in the afterlife

  • Protector of the dead: Clothed in black, Anubis watches over the souls of the departed, preserving them from the perils that lurk in the shadows.
  • Guide of souls: He is the one who, with a firm and benevolent hand, accompanies the spirits towards their ultimate judgment before Osiris.

Embalming rituals

  • The mummification process: Anubis lent his ancestral knowledge to the embalmers, transforming the body into an eternal casket for the soul.
  • The mouth-opening ceremony: An essential ritual offering the deceased the possibility of breathing and speaking in the afterlife.

The symbolism of Anubis in death and rebirth

Anubis embodies the transition between life and death, but also a pledge of rebirth, ensuring that the cycle of existence continues.

Anubis in art and iconography

Artistic representations of Anubis

  • Typical iconography : Often depicted with the head of a black jackal, he personifies vigilance and intelligence.
  • Attributes and associated animals: The jackal, associated with Anubis, symbolizes connection with the afterlife and protection in the desert.

Mural paintings in royal tombs

  • Notable examples: Vibrant frescoes of eternal life where Anubis officiates and protects.
  • Symbolic interpretation: Each color and gesture captures the mysterious essence of age-old rites.

Anubis and the royal tombs

  • Tomb protection and surveillance: As guardian, Anubis eternally watches over the resting places of the kings.
  • Specific pharaoh-related rituals: Unique ceremonies in which Anubis' presence is essential for the safety of the royal soul.

Case study: Anubis murals in specific tombs

  • Tomb of Tutankhamun: A place where Anubis imagery abounds, promising divine protection to the famous child-king.
  • Other tombs with representations of Anubis: Each tomb offers a different nuance of the association between Anubis and the deceased rulers.

Anubis in the context of funerary rituals

The presence of Anubis in funerary texts and prayers

Sacred writings imbued with the essence of the jackal god, guaranteeing passage and safety for those crossing into the afterlife.

The function of Anubis murals during ceremonies

They are not just works of art, but active ritual components , contributing to the spiritual transformation of the deceased.

The evolution of Anubis veneration through the dynastic periods

A dynamic cult that has been able to adapt, changing form but always retaining its unchanging heart.


In conclusion, Anubis, with his erect ears and inscrutable gaze, remains an emblematic figure of ancient Egypt, the personification of dignity and respect for the dead. His presence in artifacts and texts transcends time, providing lasting testimony to the link between the living, the dead and the gods. The wall paintings, rituals and legends surrounding Anubis continue to fire the imagination of historians and enthusiasts alike, promising many more revelations about the powerful jackal god.

References * Allen, J.P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs_. Cambridge University Press. * Assmann, J. (2005). Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt. Cornell University Press. * Taylor, J.H. (2010). Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. University of Chicago Press.

Find the mystical aura of Anubis and his crucial role in the afterlife on the secular fresco of history."