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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Anubis Fetish (Imiut)

Middle Kingdom
Dynasty 12
reign of Amenemhat II
ca. 1919–1885 B.C.
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht South, Mastaba of Imhotep, chamber inside the south enclosure wall, MMA excavations, 1913–14
Travertine (Egyptian alabaster), cedar, ointment
Vase: H. 9.2 cm (3 5/8 in.); Diam 10 cm (3 15/16 in.) Rod with vase: H. 59.3 cm (22 3/8 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1914
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 111
Two male figures, shrine, and fetishlike object were discovered by Metropolitan Museum excavators in a chamber in the enclosure wall of an elite tomb at Lisht South. The object of veneration found inside the shrine was called an imiut, "the one in the wrappings." It consists of a dummy animal (a linen form inside an animal skin), without head or hind legs, fastened by linen strips to a staff whose end rests in a jar containing now-decayed ointment. Early in Egyptian history, imiut fetishes were placed protectively around sacred spaces; later, the imiut was often depicted in relation to funerary gods, especially Osiris. Both the guardians and the imiut played an important role during rites performed over the mummy the night before the funeral.
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 118, 193, fig. 71.

Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Guardian Figure and Shrine with an Imiut in a Jar." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 230–32, no. 168.

Related Objects

Anubis or Imiut fetish (see 14.3.19–.20)

Date: ca. 1919–1885 B.C. or 1887–1878 B.C. Medium: Linen, animal hide with short hair; wood; animal remains Accession: 14.3.20 On view in:Gallery 111

Guardian Figure and Shrine with an imiut in a Jar

Date: ca. 1919–1885 B.C. Medium: Wood, plaster, paint, travertine (Egyptian alabaster), ointment Accession: 14.3.17–.20-related On view in:Gallery 111

Ointment Jar

Date: ca. 1981–1952 B.C. Medium: Travertine (Egyptian alabaster) Accession: 08.200.15b On view in:Gallery 108

Guardian Figure

Date: ca. 1919–1885 B.C. Medium: Cedar wood, plaster, paint Accession: 14.3.17 On view in:Gallery 111

Outer coffin of Senebtisi

Date: ca. 1850–1775 B.C. Medium: Coffin: cedar, paint, gold leaf; Eye panel: gold leaf over stucco, travertine (Egyptian alabaster) and obsidian Accession: 08.200.45a, b On view in:Gallery 113