The Djed and the Ankh

Religious practices and iconography developed during Narmer's reign with symbols such as the Djed and the Ankh.

The Djed

The Djed is an ancient Egyptian symbol for stability which features prominently in Egyptian art and architecture throughout the country's history. The Djed is often overlooked in Egyptian art, and especially in architecture, simply because it is so ubiquitous; the Djed is featured on pillars, tomb walls, palace walls, sheets of papyrus, and especially sarcophagi. Once one is aware of the Djed and its importance to ancient Egyptian culture, it is impossible to miss.

The Ankh

The Ankh is one of the most recognizable symbols from ancient Egypt. It is a cross with a loop at the top, and is the Egyptian hieroglyph for "life" or "breath of life". The Egyptians believed that one's earthly journey was only part of an eternal life and with this, the Ankh symbolizes both mortal existence and the afterlife. The Ankh's association with the afterlife made it especially popular for the Coptic Christians of Egypt in the 4th century A.D., who took it as their own and eventually developed it into the Christian Cross we see today.

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