Andjety (Anezti, Anedjti) simply means “he who is of Andjet” – the place of the djed (Busiris in the ninth nome of Lower Egypt). It is thought that he was a historical ruler of the ancient Egyptian city of Djedu (Busiris) who became the god of domestic and farm animals, and probably introduced the use of the shepherds crook as an emblem of kingship (an interesting precursor to the Christian notion; “the lord is my shepherd”). Sneferu was depicted wearing the double plumed crown and the Pyramid texts refer to Andjety as the embodiment of Pharonic power.
After the old kingdom, he was merged with Osiris who adopted many of his emblems and took over his role as a god of agriculture, although he was occasionally recognised as the god Osiris-Andjety. In his temple at Abydos, Seti I offers incense to this hybrid god, who holds a ‘crook’ scepter, wears the double plumed crown and is accompanied by Isis
Andjety was depicted as an old man bearing all of the emblems of kingship and wearing a crown with two feathers, echoing the Atef crown worn by Osiris who replaced and absorbed both Andjety and the Djed pillar as the focus of worship in Djedu. In the Pyramid Texts, the power of the pharaoh is linked to Andjety who is described as “presiding over the eastern districts”. He is also given the epithet “bull of vultures” in the coffin texts, confirming his role as a virile consort to the ancient goddesses.
As the lord of the dead, he was sometimes described as a god of re-birth, and considered to be the husband of Meskhenet, an ancient goddess of birth. However, the Hebrew workers who settled in Egypt during the eighteenth dynasty considered him to be the husband of Anat, a war goddess.
- Pinch, Geraldine (2002) Handbook Egyptian Mythology
- Redford Donald B (2002) Ancient Gods Speak
- Watterson, Barbara (1996) Gods of Ancient Egypt
- Wilkinson, Richard H. (1992) Reading Egyptian Art
- Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003) The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
copyright J Hill 2010