Name of the elliptical line drawn by the Egyptians around two of the names of the king from the 4th Dynasty on, his birth name ('Son of Re' name or nomen) and his throne name ('King of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt' name or prenomen). Detailed representations clearly show that the line of the cartouche represents a (double) rope tied at one end. The shape of the cartouche developed out of the round 'Shen' or eternity/infinity ring; the longer the king's names became, the more the ring had to be stretched. The meaning of the cartouche was 'protection by encircling', with the king's name being seen as the world, encircled by the sun. Some sarcophagi from the New Kingdom, and the burial chambers of some tombs in the Valley of the Kings, such as that of Tuthmosis III, are also shaped like a cartouche (sometimes depicted on the lid), so that the dead king inside, just like his name, was encircled by the cartouche. Cartouches were a great help when the hieroglyphic script was being deciphered because it was assumed that the signs in a cartouche represented the name of a king. Champollion, for example, basing himself on Manetho, tried to place the cartouches in the right order. The French term was introduced by Napoleon's soldiers, who thought they were the same shape as their gun cartridges, called cartouches. In the meantime the term has been absorbed into Egyptology.