An identity crisis for Anubis?
From Fortean Times FT273 forthcoming April 2011 ed. p.21
One of the most familiar members of ancient Egypt's pantheon of gods is Anubis, the deity of mummification. For untold ages, Anubis has always been referred to as jackal-headed, on account of being portrayed with a canine head traditionally identified as that of Egypt's jackal. However, this tradition has now come to a very abrupt end, thanks to the remarkable discovery that Egypt's jackal is nothing of the sort. Genetic research by a team of researchers led by Dr Eli Rueness has revealed that it is in fact a hitherto-unrecognized form of the grey wolf (Canis lupus). As such it is, therefore, the only form of wolf native to the continent of Africa, has been duly dubbed the African wolf, and is most closely related to the Himalayan wolf. This in turn means that from now on, Anubis should be referred to not as jackal-headed but as wolf-headed.
Fascinating and fantastic news.
Surely more of a crisis for those who relate to Anubis as a Jackal though - I suspect that HE always knew what his head was 😉
Its all fine by me, as technically Anusbis doesnt really have a head anyway.
??boggle - pretty sweeping statement that (I write as one who has seen his teeth) but I am sure you are correct in your understanding.
Wolves are harder than Jackals anyway. 🙂
This is interesting, if only because there has been a view put forth that the Great Sphinx was never modeled on the form of the lion, but rather the wild dog, and in specific, Anubis. (The body of the Great Sphinx appears to many as not leonine, but canine, mainly because of the straight back, and alert 'couchant' posture associated with canines who are guarding something -- recall the Anubis statue guarding Tutankhamen's inner funerary chamber in Howard Carter's 1922 discovery).
The Great Sphinx = Anubis theory has been argued in depth by Robert Temple in his recent work The Sphinx Mystery.
If the Egyptian jackal is in fact a wolf, and Temple is correct, then the Great Sphinx was originally a Great Wolf, reminiscent of Fenris.
Of interest there is that there is an Eastern European tradition of wolves being 'conductors of souls' (in the afterlife), essentially identical with myths connected to Anubis as conductor of souls. It is an initiatory symbol, representing guidance for the soul in darkness, aspiring with powerful sincerity of intent, toward the light.
Depending on the time of year and the nature of the "current" working, Anubis is my patron deity. Which is irreverent, er - irrelevant, to the thread.
What is reverent, er - relevant, is that zoologists tell us that dogs (and their cousins, the jackals) are descended from wolves. They're all just one happy family.
See my little Peewee:
LOL! I dig that animation Shiva, thanks for the post! 😀
Sweet! This was my 666th post! Damn, I should've come up with something profound....;)
The whole affair doesn't really seem to change anything all that much, a dog by any other name is still a dog. If they had said that he actually represented an Aardvark then I would feel cause for concern!
Ha! Tell it to the Lady who has had her Peke eaten by a Mastiff (and that's just dog-on-dog). Ever see how Wolves treat Coyotes? - verrry friendly. Not. 😈
There are three pigs and a young lady in a red cloak that feel somewhat differently about this.
No no no - that's Set. 😉