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LOST 5.12 – Dead is Dead – Hieroglyphics Mania!

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Easter Eggs, Lost
  Comments: 95

In the words of my good friend AstroJones “Anubis, the Donkey Wheel, and Smokey in one picture?  This is better than Playboy!”  Okay, I made the Playboy part up – but you get where I’m going.  Geek-gasm! Since I know LOST has inspired at least a few of you to become amateur Egyptologists… how about somebody decipher this.  Is that a UFO?  No, it’s an eyeball – now get serious.  (Thanks to Sledgeweb for the pic!)

in my opinion, the etching depicts smokey and the wheel in conflict.  The elements face one another from opposite sides.  Since we’ve seen what remains of Anubis, and know Smokey is still around we know how that fight – if that is what this depicts – turned out.  If this is true, are the ‘original people’ the Egyptians?  Or are the others/hostiles interlopers of yet another brand?


click for fullsize

  • chad

    i need to change my shorts

  • Dave

    I may be dense, but I am not getting the wheel out of this. Am I missing it? I see Anubis facing off against the squiggly line with a monstrous head, that I interpret as Smokey. (is that the wheel?)

    Or is the wheel that circle off to the left? That doesn’t look like the donkey wheel.

    • Yeah I’m having the same problem…can’t find the wheel.

    • icyone

      I think Doc made a typo, it should read “the etching depicts smokey and Anubis in conflict.”

      I don’t see the wheel anywhere on the etching.

  • jennrocks

    What is in the upper left corner?

  • docarzt

    The eye of Horace. errr Horus

    • Kat

      Don’t believe that’s the eye of Horus. Do a google image search and you’ll see Horus is more ornate. Think the glyph of the eye is symbolizing an act not an enitity.

  • Michel

    My head is going to explode.

    Smokey is something natural, created by whatever energy the island contained, but running wild through it. The ancient islanders (possibly Egyptian coloners) harnessed it and created vents for him. And then they brought their own gods to talk and confront the monster. It was, once again, civilization against nature, and the mural is the proof that the monster was already there before that ancient civilization even existed. The (egyptian?) coloners arrived later, and tried to control the energies of the island, but they didn’t prevail in the end.

  • Michel

    Oh, and I don’t see the wheel either, but I bet dollars to coconuts that the wheel was built by the ancient coloners, as a way to harness the “exotic matter” and that Smokey is a manifestation of the exotic matter.

    By the way, any ideas about what the sewer was all about?

    • I don’t see the wheel either…am I missing something obvious?

    • Dolce

      I’m thinking, as far as the sewer question, that it was a closed vent. Other than the Others, noone has really been on the island for three years that smokey has needed to concern itself with, so maybe he went dormant and closed the sun roof while he took a nap. It rains here and there over three years and water collects above the closed off vent. Maybe.

      • Michel

        That’s a quite logical pressumption.

      • Lost Mom of Four

        Sounds good…

      • No, Ben had left the Island and lost the ability to “summon” Smokey.

        That simple.

        Plus it wanted to lure him to the Temple to be “judged.”


        • Benny

          He can drag him to the Temple, as it did with Locke before Kate through some dynamite.

        • Dolce

          What does that have anything to do with the sewer question? Also, I wish I could be as sure of the intentions of the writers as you are. Do you know them or something? Can I get their digits?

  • JaySin420

    So I just read a little about Anubis and Cerebrus and the whole protecting the dead thing is making me think that the temple is gonna be filled with everyone that died on the island.

    • dlbarrus

      So why is Adam and Eve different>

  • Jacobs Lather

    Doc, I thought we talked about your jumping to conclusions. The statue isn’t necessarily Anubis–in fact, I seriously doubt that it is. Secondly, I don’t see the donkey wheel in the picture posted. I do see Anubis (yes, THIS one is Anubis), and I see a serpent of some kind which may or may not (but likely does) represent Smokey. Beyond that…I’d like to hear from an ACTUAL Egyptologist.

    Theories and speculation are fine, but people look up to you for clues and things they might have missed, Doc. You have a responsibility to be a little more judicious when throwing out unsubstantiated speculation. IMHO, of course. Love the site!

    • docarzt

      Ah, but I have not jumped to this conclusion. I’m working from what I see in front of me… just like you do. 😉

      • Jacobs Lather

        Touche, good sir. Touche.

    • Michel

      Uh……. chill out, bro?

  • Fabularasa77

    I’d just like to chime in that the (presumed) Smokie in the picture looks like it isn’t opposed to Anubis, but more taking orders, or waiting on him like a servant. Note that Anubis’ palm is opened and faced up (friendly), and he is sitting down (Not a fighting stance). (Note: I’m only assuming that Anubis is giving orders based on his status as a god, and smokies’ status as…well…smoke-thing. Based solely on depiction, they could be equals)

    Also, the wheel off to the left doesn’t look like the usual depiction of the FDW with all of its spokes, it made me think more of whatever Ben turned to drain the water under his house (looked like he turned a valve with his hand, to me). That would make sense to be depicted near smokie, and what looks like the little hole-y (ha) base he rose out of.

    • This echos my interpretation upon first viewing this scene. It appears to me as tho smokey had been summoned by anu-whoever. Its seemed to be a servant to me but the other interpretation makes sense as well

      • Mrs. Alpert

        I agree. When I saw it last night, I thought that smokey was acting as Anubis’s balancing scales- he weighted the souls of the dead to determine where they went in the afterlife… smokey is the one passing judgement here- for Anubis.

  • buzzsaws

    Before “Dead is Dead”, the earliest we had seen Smokey was when the Crew of the French Ship had crashed on the island. I was starting to suspect that Smokey was the product of the “Incident” which lost Dr Candle an arm an required BUTTON PUSHING every 108 minutes. Clearly Smokey is far more ancient. The glyph from the screen shot to me seems to be depicting simply a meeting between Anubis and Smokey. Anubis is seated and has open palms and arms. In any Culture that would be interpeted as non-confrontational. Perhaps they are working out a treaty, which would mirror the deal of Dharma and the Hostiles, or maybe Anubis is being judged as Smokey has done with several other Characters. It should be noted that in pictographs that the scale used to depict a person or object showed it’s importance. The Larger you are depicted, the more important or powerful you are to the Carvers! Smokey and Anubis (if that is the alias to be used here, I still think Ancient Carthage has a role to play) are on the same scale.

    • agreed and smokey may even appear to loom somewhat. which is why I can see either interpretation being plausible. The more I think about it actually Im starting to lean towards the other side. [smokey in charge] Of the two he actually appears to be erect and does have a somewhat menacing look. And the aforementioned looming thing going… hmm… statue was crumbled but smokey is still around…. yep I just got my mind changed. Cool. 🙂 Let it never be said Im not open minded…

  • Heidi

    anubis guides the dead to the afterlife and cerebrus keeps the dead in hades. I think smokey judge judy takes you down and keeps you down if you deserve it. So perhaps good and evil theme. I agree with respectful meeting, does not seem aggressive. If the donkey wheel lies in the shadow of the statue, we would expect to see the wheel behind the Anubis, but I just see an ankh. Smokey rising from Vent and circular thingy behind him and circular in the middle between the two. Also may be a human form next to the circle in the middle so might be the wheel. Ben did not seem to know that any of that room existed. Glad it was in the shape of Alex to kick Ben’s ass.

    • Justin

      Cerberus is a dog with three heads and is from Greek mythology. It doesn’t fit in with the Ancient Egyptian theme of the Island. Maybe Smokey is similar to Cerberus in what he does but it’s not Cerberus. I tend to doubt Smokey has anything to do with guarding the gates of Hell though.

  • jennrocks

    Anubus also stands for time and how time begets all things. Anubus is also related to Apuat who is the opener of the way.
    Also found the donkey wheel – it is the Buddhist wheel of life and reincarnation.
    That looks like a compass on the left of smokey

    • smiley

      i didnt realize the compass depiction…thank you for pointing that possibility out. I just narrowmindedly assumed the wheel. Gotta look outside the magic box,I guess.

  • Dolce

    From the point of view of someone who has long forgoten any Egyptian studies teaching from school, what I notice most prominently is not only a non-confrontational face to face between ( insert Egyptian God of choice here ) and what most likely is a representation of smokey, but moreso an interaction between an approval seeking dog and it’s master. Not to say that this relationship is one of subserviance of one party to another, but a relationship of harmonic coexistence where each serves the needs of the other.

    • smiley

      Does that mean that Vincent is Jacob or smokey?

  • DarthBubba

    Personnally, I’m getting that Smokey is a manifestation of Ammut, sometimes called Ammit, the Egyptian Devourer of the Dead. He was normally depicted (though most often croc-headed-ape-dog in appearence) serving Annubis as hearts were weighed to determine if a soul reached the afterlife. He was always neutral up until judgement. If the soul was judged worthy they walked and talked on into the afterlife, the the soul wasn’t worthy though. . . Ammut would feast. Sounds an awful lot like our pal Smokey to me.

    • DarthBubba

      Or better yet, he could be a manifestation of the entire afterlife judgement process. Annubis weighed the hearts on a scale topped by Maat, goddess of Justice, Truth and Order. Then Ammut is there to devourer any who are not worthy while Thoth records the whole thing.

      • smiley

        Who is Thoth…could that mean ‘Hoth’ like the next epi?

  • Ophorian

    The next episode’s title is “Some Like it Hoth”. Ignoring the reference to Star Wars, maybe this is a reference to the Egyptian God Thoth. The god in the hieroglyph is Anubis, but maybe the statue is Thoth.

    • al

      thereby confirming my theory form the start that the monster is in fact the spirit of darth vader.

  • strummer95

    Anubis weighed the hearts of the dead…if it was too heavy, Ammit devoured it…is smokey the embodiment of Anubis and/or Ammit

    If you look at how Anubis is positioned it is very clear this is not a hostile meeting, and most likely smokey is waiting for a command

    -the circle symbol to the far left center is represents the sun and is commonly above the heads of deities as a symbol of their ‘inner circle’ it is considered the halo

    -snakes in Egypt represent immortality and rebrith

    -the inverted ankh behind Anubis’s head is a statement that eternal life is a falsehood

    • malakai

      I like it.

      So perhaps Jacob = Anubis giving orders to Smokey / Ammit?

      So if any of this is right then there is the chicken or the egg thing: Did “the Island” spawn this portion of Egyptian mythology or did they discover this place and decide apply their already existing mythology to Smokey and worship it as if they had found one of their gods?

  • autochthonous

    I hate to say this, but I think that Anubis in this picture is shown being subservient to Smokey. Here is what I glean: perhaps they were Egyptian colonists and they came to the island much like everyone else that we’ve seen. They try to establish their religion and then realize that their gods are nothing in comparison to the power of the island. They start worshiping Smokey and hence, the hieroglyph of Anubis waiting for commands from Smokey.

  • shanzy288

    I think Smokey is the Egyptian god Apep!

  • Charlie’s Ghost

    it appears that cerberus is anubis’ pet, of sorts.

  • spinflip

    To me, it doesn’t look like Smokey is any specific Egyptian god, his appearance on the carved picture seems to be invented anew and is different from the appearances of other gods.
    It’s funny that he even has a face which looks like the one of a demon.

  • shieldwolf

    I am not sure why people think Anubis and Smokey are fighting; Anubis has a hand outstretched and raised which to me would suggest he is _summoning_ smokey, just as Ben had to do.

  • Spoon

    The ‘frozen donkey wheel’ in the top left, and the circular thing below looks more like a ‘conventional’ flying saucer to me in plan and side views to me!

  • icyone

    Some other interesting observations (to me):

    – The ankh on the right is inverted. The normal-oriented ankh symbolizes life – this inverted ankh most likely symbolizes death.
    – The snakes on either side of (what appears to be) Anubis likely represent his guardians.
    – I agree with the statements that Anubis appears to be in friendly contact with the symbol representing the smoke monster. His open outstretched hand representing invitation.

  • preztige

    I see Anubis summoning SMokey and the wheel is on the left part of the stone right where the crack is.

  • dp2

    It says “Don’t feed the smoke monsters”

    • DarthBubba

      This just made me LOL.

  • Josh

    This image might clear up some speculation about the statue. It is definitely not Anubis.

    • Justin

      Wow. Check out the wikipedia-

      Makes alot of sense.

      • The Magician

        The headdress is certainly identical, but Tawaret has a tiny pair of legs – the lower body of the statue seems to be of more human proportions…

      • Benny

        Tawaret also appears in naked form or wearing a dress. The skirt is a traditional wear of male gods. There are only a handful of gods with four toes.

      • Still lost

        It absolutely makes sense with the preganacy issues on the island and what Tawaret represents, maybe with a “Lost” twist it is more humanoid then animal like. nice call ,imo.

  • The Magician

    Unlike most people it seems, I don’t think any of the Egyptian gods are going to feature into this in any substantial way. Perhaps in paintings, architecture and hieroglyphics, but that’s where it’ll end.

    What it all boils down to is that an Egyptian civilisation colonised the island at some point. This doesn’t mean there is a literal Anubis on the island somewhere, it simply means that the Egyptians chose to represent their own Gods in communion with the smoke monster. If the Norse colonised the island, there would be images of Thor or Odin instead.

    • icyone

      I don’t think anyone is expecting to see Anubis or any other god on the island. Instead we’re treating the pictures and hieroglyphs as metaphors. They were written for a reason, to communicate something, and we’re just trying to figure out what that something is, whether its a warning, or a story, or who knows what.

      • DarthBubba

        quoted for truth

      • The Magician

        From people I’ve spoken to, and from other websites I’ve looked at recently, there actually *are* people expecting to see Egyptian gods 🙁

        • DarthBubba

          Someone get them a copy of any season of Stargate and then maybe that’ll satisfy. 😉

  • 4tunecookie

    So, I could be completely mistaken, but I thought I’d share what I see here:
    First off, the “smoke monster” seems to be portrayed with the head of a demon with horns which, I agree, could be the Egyptian god, Apep. It is said that Apep is the personification of all that is evil which would explain so much…
    Secondly, I know some people think the idea that the jackel-headed being kneeling to the smoke monster may not be Anubis, but I’ve done a little research and there is no doubt in my mind that it is. (like I said, this is just my opinion.) However, usually Anubis is portrayed with a spear, a flail, a set of scales, or a jar of insense. And, for anyone who isn’t familiar with Egyptian history, Anubis is the most important God of the dead, associated with the mummification process and protecting the dead as they proceed to the afterlife.
    Therefore it is my hypothesis that this picture on the wall of the temple was depicting that, in a sense, the smoke monster (perhaps Apep,) conquers death there, or controls it, or at least can prohibit the passage to the afterlife, which can explain why John Locke can’s die, why Ben didn’t die as a child, and why we see so many people come back from the dead. And since it is a living creature, not a law of nature on the island, it seems that it can choose who dies, who lives, and whose spirits remain to carry out it’s wishes.

    Anyways, those are just some thoughts.

  • M

    Not sure why there’s so much question as to whether the Smoke Monster is Cerberus. The Dharma Initiative called it that, right or wrong. It’s been all but confirmed several times, in several different ways (including a Pop-Up Video version of a S2 episode AND a ComicCon presentation two years ago).

    From Lostpedia and Wikipedia:
    The Swan Station’s blast door map makes several references to a “Cerberus” activity and also notes that this “Cerberus” prevents passage between certain stations, indicating the security system aspect of it may have gone down as early as 1984. Notations on the Blast Door map seem to confirm the “Cerberus” patrolling regions of the island that the Monster has been seen as well, suggesting that the two are one and the same. This is confirmed in a G4tv presentation of Lost in 2.0 (where Lost creators’ have direct pop up windows within the episode, giving away or explaining away major plot devices, mysteries, and such), during the season 2 episode “Lockdown”.

  • JOhn Burger

    Its kind of amazing how no one gets this.

    People. The Egyptian in kneeling to be judged. He is offering to smokey. Ben found the alter where smokey lives. It is where offerings where made and where people are judged. The picture shows the Egyptians bowed to smokey–not their own gods. Your problem is you’re disconnecting the picture from the episode. Think of the script..not your own ideas.

  • JOhn Burger

    Oh..let me add

    Lost is gonna have nothing to do with Egyptians.

    The ruins are just highlighting that the ancient people that were “Lost” on the island before where from Africa. They worshipped Smokey as a god. It tell us nothing about what smokey is–only what primitive Africans thought he was.

    • The Magician

      Yes; co-signed especially on your last sentence.

    • dolce

      Who says anyone was from Africa? That statement kinda presumes a lot.

      • MyNoNos

        Egypt is in Africa sweetheart.

        • Dolce

          I know where Egypt is. Don’t be an asshat. It’s not neccesary. Last time I checked, this fictional island is not part of that continent and the clues left by the ancient inhabitants are not exactly Egyptian. I am no historian, but from reading information posted by other( smarter ) people than myself over the past few weeks, the influences can be traced to many cultures from different continents, not solely Egyptian. Sure, it seems that that culture has the most influence on the style of the ancient ruins, but I like to think of it in a different way. What if it’s the other way around? What if the original inhabitants of the island were somehow older than the African, Asian and South American cultures that many claim to be the influences on them? What if these cultures and their arcitechture and languages were influenced by them instead? I’m just sayin’. I refrain from being sure that I know what the writers have in mind.

          • Dolce

            Also, I agree in part with what Johnburger was saying. Not that it’s not going to have anything to do with Egyptians, but everyone should not be so sure that it has everything to do with Egyptians. As far as where I was going with what I said in my reply above, I would like to add this:I am also not implying anything about aliens or the myth of Atlantis as being a possibility. In fact I would be highly disappointed if aliens, Atlantis, or simply Egypt turned out to be the resolution to the mystery of the original island inhabitants. I’m looking(and hoping) for something completely unexpected. We just have to wait and see…

          • sesquipedalian

            So as the island moved about in space, the indigenous people left their island and cultivated their culture around the globe.

          • DezziesOtherLifeBrotha

            Have you forgotten that the portal from the island opens into the Saharan desert? It’s not that far of a stretch to think at some point it was the other way around…

            Granted Tunisia is not ‘nearby’ per se to where the Egyptian civilisation was centered, but you say the island is not part of the African continent yet it has many ties to Africa. The portal, the nigerians (eko and yemi) both winding up there, the egyptian hieroglyphics, the black rock ship setting sail with slaves (possibly from Mozambique, per john locke)…

    • DarthBubba

      I think what most people are thinking is that we’ll find out Egyptians may have gotten to the island first and interpreted things like Smokey to be of their pantheon or that they were inspired by certain islandisms to create parts of their pantheon.

  • idaveyy

    this picture shows annubis in a similar stance to the picture at the top
    this picture also shows ammit with annubis who, to quote wikipedia, “serves at the whim of the other deities to take souls that have sinned against the gods and consign them into oblivion”. I believe this is linked to Smokie who judges Ben in this episode. Maybe Smokie is Ammit and therefore serves Annubis to see whether people should live or die etc

    • idaveyy

      believed to be Ammit

      sorry, started to ramble. just thought the picture was interesting

    • DarthBubba

      That is from The Book of the Dead and also depicts Thoth who recorded the events of one’s life and subsequent judgement. . . also a Smokey trait.

  • ‘Scuse me, Lucys, but….

    Ever give thought to the idea that Egyptian mythology is a perversion of its Atlantean mythology roots?


    It’s that simple.

    • DarthBubba

      I thought the creators directly stated it isn’t Atlantis. . . besides that was either in the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea. . .now Mu which was one of the other “lost, advanced, ancient civilizations” that was suppossed to be in the Pacific. Check it out:

      • DarthBubba

        the (lost_continent) part is part of the actual address, don’t know why it didn’t link it all.

      • DarthBubba

        from that entry:
        “Churchward claimed that Mu was the common origin of the great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Central America, India, Burma and others, including Easter Island, and was in particular the source of ancient megalithic architecture. As evidence for his claims, he pointed to symbols from throughout the world, in which he saw common themes of birds, the relation of the Earth and the sky, and especially the Sun. Churchward claims the king of Mu was Ra and he relates this to the Egyptian god of the sun, Ra, and the Rapanui word for Sun, ra’a, which he incorrectly spells “raa.”[7]: p. 48 He claimed to have found symbols of the Sun in “Egypt, Babylonia, Peru and all ancient lands and countries – it was a universal symbol.””

  • Dharma Adept

    the screen shot shows smokey/ammit being summoned by Anubis. the devourer of the dead takes orders from the lord of the dead, not the other way around. there is no conflict between them, since Ammit is a manifestation of Anubis…there is a wheel-like glyph, though, in the left-hand side, as well as an upside-down ankh on the right-hand side. which means anubis can send you to eternal death (the opposite of eternal life) and suggests smokey guards the FDW, or at least the FDW was known to the temple builders/acolytes.

  • sabrina

    Maybe these ruins, temples, etchings, etc ARE from peoples we now call Egyptians BUT they pre-date known Eqyptian civilization? As in pre 6000 b.c. or so. Could the folks that were on the island have built all this stuff, developed all this culture, language and then left? Traveled to northern Africa and set up shop. Maybe there was a much, much earlier “incident” and it was responsible for blowing the statue in two and causing the ancient people to leave in fear. I’m obviously just totally speculating, but it’s a lot of fun.

    • sabrina

      (apologies if this has been discussed and I missed it. oops)

      • sabrina

        ok. I feel really dumb right about now. Just read Dolce’s remarks above. umm ditto?

        • Dolce

          LOL! Yayyyy! Someone is thinking along the same lines as me!

    • DarthBubba

      This is totally in line with my thought that the island is a remnant of Mu. The survivors of the sinking of that lost continent suppossedly set up shop in Egypt, India, South America etc.

      • sabrina

        Yep, makes sense to me. The experiences the ancient people had on the island may have been what made them so mystical about death and caused them to develop all those rituals, lore, and idols/gods when they got to Egypt. There is no way that there is not a connection between the folks who lived on the island and Egypt. Things are too similar. Ancient Greeks, Sumarians, Mayans, etc.. were pretty advanced as well but their buildings, language, and so on were different.
        And frankly, I don’t mind if there is a connection w/ Egypt, it’s still really cool. The writers at “Lost” have to still make the show relatable to “regular” viewers (like most of the people I know on a daily basis who watch the show) who don’t get into the mysticism of the show and the “regular viewers” will get ancient Egypt.

  • Lebowski Achiever

    Didn’t have time to read through all comments, so I don’t know if this has been said, but from this picture, would the squiggly line (smokey) be considered in the shadow of the statue? I know some are thinking Iliana and her beach crew may have been infected by Smokey like Rousseau’s people were. This could be a hint toward that.

  • Steve

    These are the dumbest theories I have ever heard. The entire main plot line has already been given away. If you really still care dont read this. The four toed statue is of Isis, the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus(the Egyptian Jesus). When Horus was a baby his mother took him to a magical hidden island to protect him from his uncle seth, who had murdered his father. The island is protected by Anubis, the Egyptian god of judgment and the underworld(his hieroglyph was on the wall, calling the monster, when Ben was judged). And the cherry on top. Horus was crippled as a boy then miraculously healed, died and rose again after 3 days, and had a line/scar under his right eye(image search the eye of Horus and you will see). Last week when Jack was cleaning the class room there was a time line of ancient Egypt. Long story short, John is Horus reincarnated and is here to save everyone. I think Richard might be an ancient Egyptian left to protect the island. There it is. Hope I didn’t burst your bubble!

  • Ryan

    Let me tell yall what my little brain came up with… I Think the “Smoke Monster” Is actually made of the now dead people on the island. And that locke and bens daughter and clair are apart of it. When out of the temple. Locke never touches anyone…

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