Ancient Egypt for Kids
The ankh is a history mystery.
The ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol. It looks rather like a key. The ankh symbol was used in hieroglyphics and in designs. One of the artifacts carefully placed in King Tut's tomb was an ankh. The ankh must have meant something important to the ancient Egyptians, but we're not sure quite what that was.
Historians have made a few guesses at what the Egyptian ankh might have symbolized. Some historians think the ankh was the symbol for the key that opened the door to the afterlife. Others think it might have represented the key that turned on the annual flooding of the Nile each year. Of course, the ankh might not even represent a key.
One thing we do know. The Egyptians used symbols to represent important things. The red crown, for example, is the symbol for Lower Egypt. The white crown was the symbol for Upper Egypt. The lotus flower symbolized rebirth, or the coming of spring. And the ankh? It's a history mystery.