Barking Up the Wrong Tree: Surprising Identity of an Egyptian Jackal-Headed Figurine
Object 2006 D at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum represents a small, jackal-headed figurine wearing a pleated robe. It has been variously identified as a 19th Dynasty terracotta figurine of Anubis for a canopic jar and conversely as a wooden figurine of Duamutef with similar funerary associations. However, a technical analysis of the object’s composition and production method utilizing UV radiation, X-ray fluorescence, and X-radiography as well as an art historical study of its unique iconographic form reveal the figure may not in fact be funerary in nature. These analyses suggest 2006 D is a Greco-Roman terracotta figurine of an Anubis priest that would have functioned as a cult image in a domestic shrine embodying the ritual efficacy of an Isiac festival. As such, the figurine elaborates Anubis’ role in the Greco-Roman pantheon and offers insights into the most important concerns of Egypt’s ethnically mixed population during this period.
See the full presentation here: