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 Museum Explorer

Gods and spirits in
Ancient Egypt

Ankh amulet

Length: 23.500 cm

EA 54412

Ankh amulet

From: Gebel Barkal, Egypt
Date: 25th Dynasty to Late Period, about 700-500 BC

Amulets are charms or tokens, carried or worn for good luck. This large amulet probably came from a temple, and may also have been used in the New Year festival. It is in the shape of an ankh which means ‘life’.

However, there are other meaningful symbols here as well as the ankh. Have a look for:
The was sceptre, the hieroglyph for 'power'
The djed pillar, the hieroglyph for 'stability'
The heh, a man with upraised arms, the hieroglyph for 'millions'.

The whole object taken together states a wish, probably for the king, of 'life, power and stability for millions of years'.