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Ancient Mesopotamia
Assyria Nineveh
Arslan Tash Til Barsip
Iran Palace of Darius
Phoenicia Arabia Palmyra
Syrian coast
Ougarit Byblos


     The goddess Maat
     carrying the ankh   
E 185

     Room 7 Showcase 9

     openwork decoration of furniture
     Fourth century BC

     Coated, painted, gilded and inlaid glass.


     The monuments and tombs are often
decorated with the ankh.

     The Egyptian priests held the cross-shaped
     'Crux  Ansata' and representing their quality             of priests of the Sun god AE5

 The ankh, the symbol of life

The alleged evidence of life resembles the letter "T" surmounted with a handle and oval evokes the union of male reproductive organs and female. AE6 

Long before the advent of Christianity the Egyptian cross was regarded as sacred. The ankh is a rare pattern, inspired by Coptic Pharaonic art. An examination of the Coptic tombstones in V and IX century suggests that the Egyptians influenced the use of the cross by Christians.  AE7

The cross and its variants appear very early in many cultures. Over the centuries about 400 types of crosses have emerged. The ankh was the symbol of life for Egyptians.

Shroud woman
called "Lady of the ankh"
           FY 6487

Denon showcase Mezzanine Room B M7

Fourth century AD
Painting on canvas

The Copts to convert to Christianity
the hieroglyph of life.

An ankh is held by the deceased on the shroud of Antinous, dated 193-235, and witness the survival of mummification in these Christians.

We find this cross associated with the alpha and omega on the stele of Rhodia, preserved in the Egyptian Museum SMPK, Berlin.   AE7


Fragment of a curtain decorated with cross handles          FY 5556

Denon Mezzanine Room B showcase C5
VIIIth century AD-C, Tapestry flax and wool

The ankh contain in their loop the monogram of Constantine.

The ankh, symbol the phallus and coitus ?

 "Many authorities feel like the hooked cross symbol
the phallus and c
oitus [...] In Egyptian tombs, there is the ankh
side of the phallus [...] These two symbols are closely associated
with paintings found in the ruins of Pompeii. "

H. Cutner, A Short History of Sex-Worship  AE6

Ankh                   E 32171

Denon Entresol
Room B

Coptic era (?)

wood, paint brown

The ankh was discovered

in the tomb of Thales, a resident of Antinoe.

Excavations at Albert Gayet Antinoe,  1900 - 1901

  "The ankh symbolizes life, the vital principle. With good reason it was called the key to life.

It figures on tombs, pottery, and jewelry,
from Sardinia, along the coast of Africa,
Palestine, and Mesopotamia. "

J. Hastings   AE6

Vestiges of a monumental gate

in the name of Ramses II


1279 - 1213 BC (19th dynasty)

Room 12

The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times can be considered almost universal. It is found almost everywhere in China, Africa, America. This symbol is found even in Scandinavia on rock carvings dating from the Bronze Age. A231

The religious influence of ancient Babylon was then extended to many peoples and nations, much farther and with greater force and persistence that his political power.


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