5x08: The Egyptian God Anubis

296px-Anubis_standing.jpgThe screen shot of the statue from tonight's episode along with the ankh necklace that Paul wore in the episode has turned up a strong connection to the Egyptian God Anubis. In fact, SWLS is saying that the four-toed statue IS in fact Anubis. Follow the jump to learn some more about Anubis, see some pics to help solidify that the statue is him, and to let us know what you think.

(All images below can be clicked for larger views)

Anubis is the Greek name for the ancient jackal-headed god of the dead in Egyptian mythology whose hieroglyphic version is more accurately spelled Anpu (also Anupu, Anbu, Wip, Ienpw, Inepu, Yinepu, Inpu, or Inpw). He is also known as Sekhem Em Pet. Prayers to Anubis have been found carved on the most ancient tombs in Egypt; indeed, the Unas text associates him with the Eye of Horus (yep, we got a Horace in Lost as well, different spelling, same pronunciation). He serves as both a guide to the recently departed and as the patron of embalmers and mummification, though his primary role is as the guardian and judge of the dead.

lifesize-egyptian-anubis-sculpture-1.jpgBasically, Anubis was the deity who judged the dead, and made the decision about whether they could enter the Underworld, or if they would be cast into the Eater of Souls. However, besides judging the dead, Anubis also looked over them, making sure that no one was ever sent to the Eater of Souls by mistake.

In most images and statues of Anubis, he is seen holding (and sometimes wearing) an Ankh necklace in his right hand, and a staff of some kind in his left. Although one of the images shows a staff with an "Anubis" head on it, typically the staff he is seen holding looks similar to the others pictured below.

anubis2.gif

5x08_statue.jpgFinally, the four toes. On several sites with information about Anubis, we found references to Anubis, when in canine form, having only four toes (or more like paws) on his hind legs, and 5 toes on his front legs. This fact could be what inspired the ancient islanders to create the statue with only four toes, despite the fact that you can't exactly say the statue is in canine form. Two of the sites that mentioned this are here and here. Do a search for "four-toed" to find the exact text.

Other references we've had to ancient Egypt have been Horace Goodspeed (from the Egyptian God Horus); The Hieroglyphs we've seen in many places including the Temple, the Frozen Donkey Wheel, the Ben Cave, and of course in the Swan Station(note: At Comic Con 06, Lost writers said that the translation they were hoping to convey was "Underworld" for these hieroglyphics, which would be a place of death. ); Hurley's recent painting of the Sphinx and Pyramids, and the Ankh Necklace in tonight's episode. Can the producers make it any clearer to us that Ancient Egypt holds a key in all of this.

Note the ears, position of legs, the hair and skirt/dress, and the right arm holding an object (most certainly an Ankh) in the comparison photos below (click to enlarge)."

anubis-compare.jpg

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51 Comments

Multiverse said:

Facinating, I think most got the Egyptian connection but with the full view of the statue it all became a lot clearer for me having studied Eygptian mythology for some time prior to any lost connection, the statue is in fact readily recognisable as that of the Egyptian God Sobek, similar to Anubis but with the head of a crocodile hence the lack of the jackle ears that Anubis is depicted with. Sobek is usually also depicted holding an Ankh in the left hand and a 'was' or scptre in his right hand. Sobek is the god of fertility and rebirth which may be a link to the fact that if Sobek was not worshipped then children would be born dead and we all know the problem with childbirth on the island. Sobek is neither good or bad exactly but embodies a little of both Sobek is although stated as being the enemy of Horus 'Horace'. In his crocodile form he was known to have the power to snatch it's prey away and hide it before consuming it, isn't that just the sort of thing Jacob has been doing all along?

wtff said:

Come on people! If you are analyzing based on facts then don't assume what it could be, just look at what it is.

I don't see feathers or wings as ears. I see hair and short ears.

Every statue of Taweret I look at looks nothing like the one shown here^. There are other fertility gods.

Take a close look at that thing on its head. There are no shadows on the hair on the head. This is because it is not a hat, but a URAEUS on the front of the statue.

Why does the statue face west. Did you know that?

The fusing theory is a real head spinner and in no doubt keeps us guessing what is what and who is who.

jkbeaulieu said:

The statue could be the God Horus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus

Horus united Egypt and bestowed divinity upon the pharaohs who were viewed as incarnations of Horus in life.

For example, when Heru (Horus) fuses with Ra the Sun God, he becomes Ra-Horakhty.

RA = Richard Alpert.

Alpert somehow fuses with mortals and grants them divine power.

We cannot see the face so until we do I say the statue is Horace. What we assume are ears could be the backsides of wings. What we assume is hair could be feathers.

While I am intrigued by the statue guarding the underworld, I still think it more to symbolize how Richard Alpert merges with mortals to produce divine power - Locke's healing, the raising and appearing of the dead, the smoke monster.

Let's face it - it really could be at this point a huge mixture of greek, egyptian, christian religion along with some cutting-edge and theoretical physics and a dose of philosophy thrown in justt to keep us guessing.

This show hurts my brain and I love it.

Chr said:

First post, please excuse my poor english.:)
i have a question for all of you devoted fans. do you realize that you can preety much find a connection between anything you randomly see on screen and anything related to real life, myhtology, the bible and so on...
everyweek some new obscure detail is seen on the show and suddenly everone has a great theory about what the lost's makers are trying to say.

let's take for example this current egyption theme. do you know that benu (ben) was the egyption god of time and nilus (linus) was the egyption god of the river nile. undoubtfully ben linus is also an egyption god!

Orr

Viral said:

I think you guys are putting WAY too much emphasis on the statue being Anubis. It really looks nothing like Anubis unless you ignore almost all of the pertinent details. the ears alone should automatically rule out this particular Egyptian god as even being a remote possibility. There's not a single depiction of Anubis anywhere in which the ears are short. They stand taller than the head itself. Anubis has no hat, as our statue has. He always has one small ankh and a spear, not two long ankhs as our statue has. These details are FAR too important in identifying an Egyptian god to simply be overlooked. In fact, these are THE IDENTIFYING feature that define this particular god. If this island's statue is trying to depict Anubis, these were the single worst Egyptian Artists of all time!

Take at Taweret again:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_4h13ETZ79B4/SbBQL-UHHDI/AAAAAAAABOE/HA35sn_Kee0/s1600-h/1236237056832.jpg

The hat is a perfect match. The ears are a perfect match. The two long ankhs are a perfect match. Of course, the four toes are a perfect match. The potential weight difference is VERY minor and completely debatable from this angle. Folks, our statue is MUCH MUCH closer to Taweret than to Anubis. So much so, in fact, I'd argue it's not even close enough to debate. We should focus on the Egyptian Goddess Taweret, protector of pregnant women, to find the connection to Lost. The statue was standing at one point and, apparently, the island allows births. It has been destroyed at some point and now the island will not allow births.

Is that really a complete coincidence?

Still_lost06 said:

What if there is no face at all? If this is true, I don't know if I'll laugh or cry...

Xpower said:

Eater of Souls? Sounds a lot like Smokey to me...

wtff said:

Remember the heiro's in the the Swan hatch meant underworld. Well if you want to numb your mind with Anubis, check out this link!!!

http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/meditati.htm

wtff said:

It could be Isis, but that thing on its head looks like the back of a cobra's head(connection to Ra) a feature of Sekhmet

http://www.lionessofthesun.com/main/glossary/S/Sekhmet

Sekhmet, solar deity par excellence, as "Lady of Ma'at," symbolizes the visible manifestation of the original cosmic order. In this aspect she deploys all her war-like resources to maintain the universal harmony defined at the first time.

She protected the sun, thereby maintaining cyclical time.

she worked to maintain the universal order, effectively supported the king, and with proper litany and appeasement would remove disease and help the poor and sick

Go wiki and find
Sekhmet was believed to protect the pharaoh in battle, stalking the land, and destroying the pharaoh's enemies with arrows of fire.

Also a goddess of fertility and strong links to Ra, Horus and Seth, to name a few

Harry Erickson said:

I think its Isis the god of fertility and the hostages pulled it down to make sure that people who got pregnant on the island couldnt give birth there.
She also had 4 toes and it looks like a woman more then anubis

wtff said:

Try Sekhmet. Is that a serpent on the statue's head and cat ears. The sun would rise or set over the statue, like a solar disk as with Isis also.

sledgeweb said:

I'm with you wjang, the statue looks exactly like the Anubis/Set variation... very human like figure, long and lean. Tawaret is, like most fertility god statues, more short and round. I haven't found a single Tawaret statue that resembles the one we see in LOST in body shape. Hopefully we will get to see the front of the statue sometime, so this mystery can be solved. I'm still putting my money on Anubis, but if not him, then Set or Horus or maybe some new variant similar to those.

wjang said:

I don't buy into this tawaret theory,
based solely upon the physique- tawaret is a short fat (pregnant?) thing, if the art department of Lost tried to depict her with long legs and a skinny torso, then they would have to have a pretty damn good reason- like perhaps the fact that she isn't pregnant is significant.

but I stand by my Anubis, Bast/Sekhmet theory.

sledgeweb said:

Well, MP, if they spray it with positively charged slime first, then - of course - I'm on board.

SQUIRT199 said:

Interestiong statement fromt he lostpedia transcript

[Miles points ahead. Jin looks. Sawyer and Juliet get up to look as well. In the distance, not far from them, a colossal stone statue of an animal-headed Egyptian deity looks out over the ocean toward the horizon. In its hands, it holds two massive stone ankhs.]

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/LaFleur_transcript

spaghettios said:

i've just had a thought..

JACOB.. JACKAL... maybe there is a connection?

Madam P said:

LOL Sledge! I agree! If that statue starts stomping around the island...

Shivy said:

I totally agree with vagabundox, that looks alot more like Tawaret to me with the headress and arms to each side. great find! However, most of the Tawaret show her sitting on something where this statue is standing.

westy said:

The important thing to think about here, I believe, is why the Losties went back to that particular place in time. Most of the time jumps revealed important things. Locke saw Yemi's plane crash, ran into Ethan and Richard (twice), Sawyer witnessed Aaron's birth, Jin ran into Danielle Rousseau while she was pregnant, Daniel was able to explain to Ellie how to neuter the bomb. Now they’re back in Dharma time. I don't believe these destinations were random.

So why was it important for Juliet, Miles, Sawyer, and/or Jin to see this statue?

None of them seemed to recognize it at all - there were even no comments about it being Egyptian (it so obviously is). I think, therefore, that this image will come up again for one or all of them, and it will have a very significant meaning for them at the time. It may even be crucial for fighting this war that is supposedly coming up.

Or perhaps they’ll look it up themselves. I'm betting on Sawyer figuring something out. He is an avid reader, which shows curiosity, and I won't be surprised if we find he has perused the Dharma library trying to identify the statue.

Then the meaning of this deity will become important. Both Anubis and Tawaret have compelling meanings that relate to “Lost.” I’m leaning Tawaret both because of its resemblance to the statue, particularly the images nomteticus provided – thanks, and Tawaret’s relationship to pregnancy (Aaron’s birth, pregnant Danielle…).

Novashannon said:

I don't think it is Tawaret, with the face of a hippo. It does not have the right ears at ll, nor the right body shape. definitely Anubis.

SawyerLove said:

Good idea, nomteticus! I think I'm buying into your theory... for now. Who knows what changes the next episode will bring!

nomteticus said:

You almost convinced me it is Taweret. Look at these two pictures:

http://www.goddessgift.net/images/candleholder-goddess-taweret-TL-2219.jpg

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/taweret2.jpg

The ears are right, the two crosses are right, the hat is right, and even the TOES are right. But apparently she has no dress and she is chubbier, but I think it's a better choice than Anubis.

And it fits onto the show, I mean with all the fertility problems... maybe the purge upset Taweret, therefore no children!

Still_lost06 said:

I'm inclined to say it is not Anubis since all of the pics I've seen have him holding that staff as well as the ankh.

Deannacat said:

But, but, but...wait! I know Sawyer brought up Richard's "eyeliner" but Nestor Carbonell says it's just his lower lashes.
http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/01/richard-alpert.html

I knew a guy in school that had really dark hair like that and his lashes were so thick and dark that they looked very similar (I, and most of the girls at school, were insanely jealous, btw). Maybe the producers are using Nestor's natural look as a story enhancement and maybe they will even say it's kohl or something he's put on for effect, but the lashes are all Nestor's apparently.

sledgeweb said:

If we have gigantic ancient ambulatory statues parading around the island, even I might quit. :)

Novashannon said:

In secind look, I do think it is Anubis. I can see the ears. That would tie in Vincet (Cat people yammer about how cats were worshipped in ancient Egypt because they had a cat-headed goddess, but so were dogs and gators- lol) The statue would have taken its feet with it if it became animated, wouldn't it? Although I did read something about that somewhere. Anyway, the Egyptian thing would tie in with Richard and his eyeliner, which Sawyer called attention to, in case we had missed it! The ancient Egyptians lined their eyes with kohl.

norville said:

tweb asked, "So what do you think led to the destruction of this statue?"

What if the statue was not *destroyed* -- what if it somehow became animated?? What if the Statue == Anubis == Cerberus == Smokey?? Admittedly, that would be a BIG stretch, explaining how the statue somehow crumbled up and came to life as a dust cloud. But in many ways, smokey's M.O. seem to match that of Anubis. Nevertheless, I would have a hard time buying into that, and I hope the producers aren't headed in that direction.

But when last we saw smokey (in his encounter with Montand), I also thought he looked rather more dusty than smokey. ;-)

sgtrock66 said:

Thanks for the info vagabundox. Could be so, could not be so. I just enjoy the speculation. Sort of bubble gum for the mind. Most of the time I just sit back and enjoy the ride. Oh, by the way, do you know what Horace meant by "bring the heavy weapons from the Arrow"?

Madam P said:

The ears and headdress do look like one of the pictures of Tawaret in your link, but the rest of the body doesn't match up too well. It looks more masculine to me.

Tweb, now I have a great mental picture of the Ajira plane clipping the statue and toppling it as it heads for the crash-landing on Hydra island... LOL! (Except that can't be really, because when Sayid, Sun, & Jin saw the Foot Statue, it was before Ajira arrived... I think anyway... who knows with this crazy show...)

vagabundox said:

sgtrock66, locke's feet have been seen when he had the cast on before he died. He has 5 toes. I explained below what the statue could be but if you missed it here's the link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taweret

sgtrock66 said:

Ok, it doesn't seem to quite fit. I believe it is an old statue. My bet is John Locke's face is on the front. Can anyone help me on this. Have we every seen Locke's bare feet?? Might he have four toes?

russell9010 said:

Has Richard Alpert ever got his feet out ? Haha

tweb said:

So what do you think led to the destruction of this statue? What is the incident? Or was it the Ajira crash or Oceanic crash? or something else?

sledgeweb said:

"Anubis was sometimes associated with Sirius in the heavens, and Cerberus in Hades."

Indeed, Anubis is sometimes referred to as the Egyptian counterpart to Cerberus. We already have a cerberus on the island, so could Anubis just be another name for the same thing?

Perhaps the natives were aware of the healing and life restoring properties of the island, as well as Smokey, and they attributed this to Anubis / Cerberus?

vagabundox said:

After some research you can notice that is not Anubis or the other ones posted before. It is TAWERET.

Taweret became seen, very early in Egyptian history, as a deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant women wore amulets with her name or likeness to protect their pregnancies.....

In most subsequent depictions, Taweret was depicted with features of a pregnant woman. In a composite addition to the animal-compound she was also seen with pendulous breasts, a full pregnant abdomen, and long, straight human hair on her head.

As a protector, she often was shown with one arm resting on the sa symbol, which symbolized protection, and on occasion she carried an ankh, the symbol of life, or a knife, which would be used to threaten evil spirits.

....As the goddess of motherhood, Taweret was eventually assimilated into the identity of Mut, the great-mother goddess.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taweret

LostInLaMuncha said:

I'm sure we'll see the statue again. Even if its in a photo or flashback. And I'd bet it's got a human face too (even if its not par for Egyptian) Just the fact that we only see it from behind seems to imply the question "Who is it?" and it'll have to be a bigger reveal than "Anubis".

My guess is Richard. He's just too Egyptian for it to not be him.

wjang said:

some evidence that it is not Bast or Sekhmet: they usually wear dresses.

Madam P said:

Kilroy, that thought has definitely crossed my mind!

IF we go with the theory that eyeliner-Richard is from the same Egyptian timeline as the people that built the statue, though, (admittedly a big if) it seems like he would've recognized Locke in the tent flashback. "Hey, you're the statue guy!" It would've lent more credence to the "I'm your leader" thing Locke tossed out there, but Richard seemed skeptical and also didn't recognize Locke. So either a)Locke's not the statue, or b)Richard is not from that past (eyeliner notwithstanding LOL.) Or both, probably.

Sledge, I thought about the ears being broken off, too. Definitely possible.

wjang said:

This may just be me overcomplicating things, but I also find it's stance to be strangely un-anubis-like. In almost every statue I've seen, it his the left foot that is foreword.

This statue seems the standing evenly, which would support my theory that it could be a cat (Bast? Sekhmet?), who are more commonly seen in this pose.

Or maybe even the right leg is foreword, a trait you don't really see until the greeks made the kritios boy.

sledgeweb said:

The arms are both at his side, but he holds an Ankh in each one. There are some depictions of Anubis with two Ankhs. I do agree, there is the possibility it is another god or pharoah, I just think that it is most likely Anubis. The ears aren't quite right, but none of the others have ears at all like that, and I'm wondering if the ears are just broken off. The ears and headdress are two things that keep it from being 100% certain though. And maybe that is what TPTB wanted... if it had the full ears, there would be no ambiguity as to what it was. By keeping just those little ear stubs, it opens it up to some debate.

SQUIRT199 said:

I am not so sure it is Anubis,
as Madam P states below, the ears are all wrong and his left arm is not bent level to the ocean to represent him holding a staff, seems both arms are by his side,

kilroy1958 said:

Does anyone else think that perhaps the face on the statue might turn out to be John Locke's?

Madam P said:

I can't believe they'd just give us that one shot, lostfan. I bet somehow we'll see more of the culture that built the statue, and maybe even the process of it being built.

They certainly seem to be suggesting Anubis, and with the death/resurrection/guardian theme it seems to fit. But as someone said, the ears are not quite right (they DO look more cat-like to me) and there's that flat headdress. I'm by no means an Egyptian expert, but didn't certain pharaohs sometimes dress to represent certain gods? Could this be a statue of a person that is dressed to represent Anubis, or Set?

I keep feeling that there's going to be an even bigger reveal of this statue when we finally get to see its face...

lostfan777 said:

They flashed to a time when the statue was whole, then flashed forward to the Dharma days and now appear to have stopped travelling. I think this is the last we'll see of the statue. The writers have given us a glimpse so that we know it is definitely 'Egyptian' in origin or design because we have talked about it so much all this time, but I think that's all we're going to get.

Novashannon said:

Anybis would make sense, but it doesn't look like him to me. Instead of ears, he seems to have a flat headdress on.

Astriastar said:

For what it's worth, the statue appears to be holding an ankh in each hand.

Still_lost06 said:

At first I thought it was Anubis too, but the ears are all wrong. I'm thinking it's Horus, with the face of a falcon.

wjang said:

although anubis is the obvious choice, i wouldn't rule out some cat gods.

Like Bastet, Set, or Sekhmet.

http://www.woodyjang.com/?p=620

TheDukeA#1 said:

In all of the pictures of Horus statues I could find, he always has five toes and normaly does not have the cross in his right hand. He carries a staff in his left and the right is empty.

I couldn't find any good pictures of Set to see what his toe count is. ;-)

Maxor127 said:

Eh, I think it's premature to say definitively that it's Anubis. From behind, it looks like pretty much any Egyptian god or goddess. Particularly Horus, Set, or Anubis.

arkay said:

How is this related to Vincent, if in any way?
How is this related to Purgatory, if in any way?
How is this related to my head exploding, if in any way?

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