A cartouche was an oval circle with a name written in it, rather like a nameplate.
In the early days of ancient Egypt, a cartouche was attached to the coffins of kings and queens. As time went on, many people hired an artist to create a cartouche for their own coffins.
The ancient Egyptians believed that you had to have your name written down somewhere, so that you would not disappear when you died. By attaching a cartouche to their coffin, people made sure their name was written down in one place at least!