Brass Ankh 16cm x 8.5cm
The Ankh is one of the most recognisable symbols from ancient Egypt, known as "the key of life" or the "cross of life", and dating from the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150 - 2613 BCE). It is a cross with a loop at the top sometimes ornamented with symbols or decorative flourishes but most often simply a plain gold cross. The symbol is an Egyptian hieroglyph for "life" or "breath of life" (`nh = ankh) and, as the Egyptians believed that one's earthly journey was only part of an eternal life, the ankh symbolizes both mortal existence and the afterlife. It is one of the most ancient symbols of Egypt, carried by a multitude of the Egyptian gods in tomb paintings and inscriptions and worn by Egyptians as an amulet.