The knife was a symbol of protection and might in ancient Egypt. The ancient flint knife – des – was the preferred ritual knife. Knives regularly figure in depictions of the Egyptian afterlife. They aid in the slaying of the deceased’s adversaries and the smooth transit through the afterlife. Knife-wielding deities, such as Bes and Taweret, were frequently depicted. Knife-wielding guardians of the underworld’s gates were also depicted.