Cartouche Facts Revealed About The Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics | Kidadl


Cartouche Facts Revealed About The Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics

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Cartouche is a commonly heard name in ancient Egypt.

The ancient Egyptian cartouche was a hieroglyphic symbol that was commonly used for the royal families. An Egyptian cartouche was an oval-shaped frame that mostly had the royal name encrypted on it.

In particular, the ancient Egyptian cartouche had the names of the king with a horizontal line and a vertical line along with two souls of birds. Generally, the cartouches of Egypt were believed to have had ropes that were lopped and many magical powers that basically protected the names inscribed on them.

The cartouche was considered by the Egyptians to have a good luck charm and protected the soul from the evil spirits around them while living and even after death. The cartouche of ancient Egypt had beautiful pictures of birds and was often used as a throne name plate that was believed to protect the king from the evil side. The ancient Egyptian language was used on a cartouche. To make the ancient Egyptian cartouche beautiful and interesting, hieroglyphs were used to systematically arrange the sentences and letters.

In most cartouches, they were arranged vertically, but in rare cases, they were used horizontally. The hieroglyphs are therefore rearranged mostly on the interior to match the horizontal pattern. The cartouche was distinctive in that it assigned the amulet artifacts to the pharaoh to whom they belonged. The cartouche of each king varied from the others. The symbols used may have been similar, but the names of the pharaohs differed from each other. It was thought that to protect the souls after their death, the cartouche was kept along with them. In this way, the tombs of the different kings allowed us to recognize them easily. The cartouche also appeared in the texts of Egypt, and an amulet was also kept along with the cartouche in the tomb. Amulets were commonly used as cartouche symbols in the coffins of the dead.

History Of Cartouche

In ancient Egypt, the cartouche was used by the pharaoh, Sneferu, of the fourth dynasty.

An amulet was basically used as a cartouche and was generally worn by the ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Later, it became more common in general, and an amulet in the form of a cartouche was also given to the common man. The cartouche, which was also considered the magical rope, had symbols in the form of hieroglyphics, and the names of the king were engraved on the oval-shaped cartouches. It helped to preserve the king of the throne.

The cartouche symbol was an emblem of prosperity and good health. In ancient Egypt, amulets and cartouches with symbols were called 'shenu'. The entity's name comes from Egypt's Napoleonic forces, who regularly encountered the emblem occurring in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and thought it looked like a gun cartridge. The French word 'cartouche' means 'cartridge' in English. A talisman, often known as an amulet, is a spiritual device made out of a rock or other similar item etched or sculpted with magical writings, indications, markings, formulas, or religious writings.

Design Of Ancient Egypt Cartouche

The symbols drawn on the amulets and cartouches were carved out of the clay of the earth and were oval in shape. Each cartouche has hieroglyphs drawn on it, and it also makes it easy to recognize the tomb.

Later, it was heated so that it could be hardened and also be preserved for a long period of time in the tomb. The symbols on an amulet or cartouche sometimes resembled the gods. They can be read either from left to right or right to left, and one can figure this out by noticing the direction in which the animal or human figures are facing.

These oval-shaped cartouches also helped the deceased person protect themselves from evil spirits. The cartouche was important in the Ancient Egyptian era because of the symbols of Ba and Ka, which were etched on the name plate. Ba and Ka were believed to be the two parts of the soul that represented the before and afterlives. On the other hand, it is believed that if a person dies, Ba flies away to enjoy and have fun, while Ka is responsible for the protection of the person's family so that they can enjoy and stay happy. By the end of the day, Ba and Ka meet the mummy, and if they fail to find the mummy using the name plate, the mummy is believed to have disappeared.

The symbol drawn on the cartouche was often considered and related to a good luck charm.

Purpose Of Cartouche

The purpose of the cartouche was basically to protect the individual from evil spirits before and after death.

The oval-shaped cartouche was thought to be a protective shield for the person from evil spirits. The person's name plate meant the protection of the body along with the soul. The safety of the person was ensured. The cartouche was indirectly the king's or pharaoh's name plate. The name of the king was written in the oval-shaped cartouche. The cartouche is significant because it is associated with the casket when a death occurs.

As the cartouche was in an oval shape and had symbols encrypted, it had great religious influence. The Pyramids were the sites for the burials of royals. These tombs contain some of the earliest Egyptian works of art. The deity, ancient Egyptian kings, and other prominent people of ancient Egypt were depicted in the paintings as per their higher significance. 

How was Cartouche made?

The cartouches were made from the clay of the earth, and different colors were used to make the cartouches, each denoting a unique feature of their own.

Ancient Egyptians were very creative with the use of colors. They were more prominent with the use of yellow, black, red, white, and green. The colors were made out of the mineral compounds. Hence, the colors lasted for a long period of time. The use of green by the Egyptians was believed to be a symbol of vegetation, fertility, growth, and new life. The color was known to be a symbol of victory and life, along with fire and anger.

The blue color was believed to symbolize rebirth and creation, along with water and heaven. In its meaning, the color yellow was meant to symbolize gold, the sun, and eternal significance. It also represented the pharaohs and the eternity of a pharaoh. The color white was thought to be a symbol of simplicity, sacredness, and purity. The black color was thought to represent night, the underworld, and death.

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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