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 Museum Explorer

Gods and spirits in
Ancient Egypt

Osiris, lord of the dead

Height: 63.500 cm

EA 20868

Osiris, lord of the dead

From: the tomb of Anhai, Akhmin, Egypt
Late New Kingdom, around 1090 BC

According to legend, Osiris was killed by his brother Set, who scattered his body in 14 pieces. His grief-stricken wife, Isis, carefully gathered all the pieces and bandaged them together for a proper burial. As a reward for this, the gods brought him back to life. He became lord of the dead and god of rebirth and eternal life, of great importance to the Egyptians.

Osiris is often shown as a bandaged mummy. He wears a tall white crown with peacock feathers on each side, and has green skin. He carries a crook and a flail (whip). This particular model of Osiris had Anhai’s Book of the Dead placed inside it.