Ancient Egypt Question: Waht was the "Ankh"?

You see this mysterious symbol in ancient Egyptian painyains: the “ank” is a cross-like thing, with a oval loop at the top. It is carried in the right hand, by many gods and goddesses. My question: what does this fetish symbolize? later writers identify the ank as a precourser to the Christain cross-is there any connection?

Wikipedia’s short and useful article on the ankh.

Simply, it was a glyph in Egyptian script corresponding to the sound we know it by, a common element in Egyptian compound words, with the basic meaning of “life” and often the added connotation of “fertileness, living.”

I remember back in grade school they told us that it was the toe strap from a sandal. That seemed a weird thing to immortalize as a symbol of life. It was years until I learned of the vulva+penis interpretation, which seems more likely.
I then learned that there were a LOT of sexual symbols that adults had been lying about, or tiptoeing around. Like the classic “male” and “female” symbols (that double for Mars and Venus).

And, knowing the tendency of the average Doper mind, a Morpork is a Ruru, Ninox novaeseelandiae.

Darn. Are we that obvious? :smiley:

Was the typo in the subject intentional? I think “waht” is an Egyptian word, too.

It is? I’m going to be Angkored if I find out it’s not!

And pshaw, I was going to say that everyone knows that the Ankh is the magical item that can teleport you back to the cave entrance, even if you’re falling down the cliff!

Simply, it was a glyph in Egyptian script corresponding to the sound we know as the call of the goose. :wink: The goose represents fecundity in reproduction, and, through its prolific droppings, fertility of the soil. Some Egyptologists link the ankh to the “sense that Ra gave to the goose,” but the jury is out on that point.

Wikipedia mentions several alternate theories, including one that I’d heard before, that a section of a bull’s vertebra looks like an ankh.

And it can also bring your hero back to life if he’s killed :smiley:

Thing is, Egyptian hieroglyphics are a rebus language. That is, you speak the pictures aloud to get the message.

In English, suppose you saw a picture of a human eyeball, a tool for cutting wood, and a female sheep. That would obviously convey the message I saw you. But someone with no knowledge of English would find the message incomprehensible.

The Egyptian words for *life *and *toestrap * are similar enough to use a toestrap as a symbol of life.

I came into the thread to warn that there is no sanctuary, possibly in some sort of holographic, high pitched wail.

Is this true? Because I’ve never heard it before. What ar the similar-sounding words?

From what I understand, Egyptologists have been able to deduce the consonant sounds in the ancient Egyptian language, but the vowels are still uncertain, and a matter of speculation.
The consonants in the word for Life was NKH.
The consonants in word for toestrap was NKH.

The vowels are uncertain, and may have been different.