Andjety- A Precursor of Osiris

Andjety in his anthropomorphic form was originally worshipped in the mid-Delta in the Lower ninth nome. Andjety (meaning 'he of Andjet', i.e. the town of Busiris) was the precursor of Osiris at the cult center of Busiris. The iconography of this god persuasively argues for his being the forerunner of Osiris. Andjety holds the two scepters in the shape of a 'crook' and a 'flail', insignia which are Osiris' symbols of dominion. Also his high conical crown decorated with two feathers is clearly related to the 'atef' crown of Osiris.

As early as the beginning of 4th Dynasty King Sneferu, the builder of the first true pyramid tomb, is carved wearing this crown of Andjety. The close relationship of the god to the monarch is is also evident from the earliest references in the Pyramid Texts, where the king's power as a universal ruler is enhanced by his being equated to Andjety 'presiding over the eastern districts'. Perhaps Andjety is an embodiment of sovereignty and its attendant regalia. As such he would readily be absorbed into the nature of Osiris and by extension into the pharaoh himself. The most likely explanation of his epithet, 'bull of vultures', found in the Middle Kingdom Coffin Texts, is that it emphasizes his role as a procreative consort of major goddesses.

Andjety figures in a funerary context as well. The notion that he is responsible for rebirth in the Afterlife is probably the reason for the substitution for the two feathers of a bicornate uterus in early writings of his name in the Pyramid Texts. In the Underworld too there is an obvious identification between Andjety and Osiris, as ruler. Hence in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, the king is depicted burning incense to the god Osiris-Andjety who holds a 'crook' scepter, wears two feathers in his headband and is accompanied by Isis.

In Egyptian mythology, Andjety (also Anezti, Anedjti) is a god who was particularly worshipped at Andjet (known in Greek as Busiris). His name reflects this, as it means simply (one who is) from Andjet, and Andjet simply meaning place of djed, djed being a type of pillar.

Andjety appears to have been worshipped since pre-dynastic times, and is thought by most Egyptologists to be the god that eventually became Osiris, although the question is not finally settled. Andjety's attributes are quite similar to those of the early Osiris - he was in charge of the underworld, and was depicted holding the symbols of rulership of the pharaoh - the crook, conical crown (of Upper Egypt), and flail. In association with death, he has the title bull of vultures, i.e. progenitor, or son, of vultures.

Because of the Egyptian beliefs about re-incarnation, Andjety, as lord of the dead sometimes was regarded as a god of re-birth, and consequently in those situations considered to be the husband of Meskhenet (Mesenet), an ancient goddess of birth. In such associations, Andjety is sometimes depicted as having the bovine uterus above his head, since it was a depiction given to Meskhenet to symbolise her association with birth.

During the eighteenth dynasty, Hebrew workers brought with them the worship of Anat, a war goddess, and identified Andjety as her husband, symbolising how war and death are bound together.