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Although the number four represents completeness, the multiplication of four extending toward the horizon would add the equally important concept of eternity. This group was frequently used as a framing device around the sides of temple reliefs, symbolically placing the compositions in a cosmic setting.
Because these representations are only two-dimensional, however, an abbreviated view of the various elements is given.
In the case of each of these, the form represents the eternal value of the concept: the A little known but fascinating inscription made at the command of the pharaoh Thutmose IV records the discovery by the king of a stone.
(16) is a cross with a looped top which, besides the concept of life, also symbolized eternal life, the morning sun, the male and female principles, the heavens and the earth.
Its form embodied these concepts in its key-like shape; in carrying the , one was holding the key to the secrets of existence.
A two-dimensional work of art, such as an image of a god or goddess, is often depicted in such a way that the number four is implied and this practice applies to many numbers so that, as Wilkinson notes, "the number actually depicted must be mentally 'extended' in order to properly understand its significance in the composition" (138).
An example of this is representations of the as four columns each rising behind the other.
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These other potent symbols were frequently paired, or associated, with the three most often used.