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Neb ankh means “lord of life” or “possessor of life.” It can be used as a title or can refer to one's most prized possession or to the outermost layer of the coffin. Hundreds of years after the Africans in Egypt developed the neb ankh, the Greeks referred to it as sarcophagus, meaning the flesh eater; thus, Greek usage removed the ancient meaning of lord of life.

Through the ages, the neb ankh evolved through many forms, from the most simple and unadorned wood boxes to the most elaborate gilded container for the deceased. Occupying a place of honor among burial items, its primary function was the preservation and protection of the body from either physical or spiritual deterioration or mutilation. The master artisans who ...

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