Treasures of Ancient Egypt Day 20: Ankh-shaped mirror case

Anubis holding ankh symbol – Wikimedia Commons

Tutankhamun’s beautiful mirror case was in the shape of an ‘ankh’ hieroglyph. ‘Ankh’ meant life, and it also meant mirror, so the object itself is basically a pun.

In Ancient Egypt, people believed that life was a powerful force swirling through all the world. They believed that life was given by the gods, which is why you often see pictures and statues of Egyptian gods holding the ‘ankh’ symbol.

Ancient Egyptians used the word ‘ankh’ a great deal in everyday conversation. Their phrase for ‘please’ was ‘May you be healthy and alive!’

Tutanhkhamun’s throne name ‘Nebkheperure’ is part of the decoration inside the loop of the ankh on the mirror case. Can you spot it? If you missed Day 13 of this series, on how to write Tutankhamun’s names in hieroglyphs, you should have a quick read of that first.

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Stephen Davies

Children's author: picture books, chapter books and YA novels

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