Turquoise necklace with ankh pendant
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This beautiful necklace is composed of turquoise heishi beads and a sterling silver Ankh pendant.
The Ankh is one of the most famous and commonly used Egyptian symbols. There is much debate over the origin of the symbol which is described as a sandal strap, a totem representing male and female reproductive parts, a sunrise on the horizon with the path of the sun before it, and a ceremonial girdle. The symbol is also the hieroglyph which represents the sound 'nkh (ankh) and the word 'life' or 'breath of life'.
Many of the gods of Egypt are depicted bearing an Ankh to represent their vivacity and immortality. Occasionally the god (or goddess) extends the Ankh to the Pharaoh, indicating both the gift of life and the purification of the subject. During the Armarna period the sun disc, Aten, was depicted with small ankhs at the end of its rays which extended down to the royal family. The ankh was also associated with life after death. The dead were sometimes referred to as 'ankhu', and sarcophagi were also known as 'neb-ankh' (possessor of life) . From the Middle Kingdom, the word 'nkh (ankh) also meant 'mirror' and many mirrors took the form of the hieroglyph.