egyptian symbols

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Ancient Egyptian Symbols
And Their Meanings

This page features some of the most common ancient Egyptian symbols that were used by the Egyptians. Each symbol below also contains the meaning of the symbol.

Eye of Horus

eye of horusThe Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health.

Ankh

egyptian ankhThe ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that symbolized eternal life. Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over their chest.

The Falcon

horus falconEgyptians associated the Falcon with the solar god Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis. The falcon was also sacred to Montu the god of war.

The Feather of Maat

feather of maatThe Feather of Maat symbol represents truth, justice, morality and balance.

Egyptian Scarabs

winged scarabThe ancient Egyptians saw how these beetles (scarabs) lived and emerged from dry ground and used this as a metaphor for the entombing and resurrection of their mummies. In this way the beetle became the Egyptian symbol for rebirth, the ability to be reborn.

The Lotus Flower

egyptian lotus flower The lotus closes at night and then sinks underwater. In the morning it emerges and blooms again. Thus the flower became a natural symbol of the sun and creation. The lotus was commonly used in art as a symbol of Upper Egypt. The lotus flower is also known as a symbol of rebirth.

The Winged Sun

winged sunrepresents a solar eclipse, thus the reference solar disk. The wings are supposed to represent the sun's corona during this event. The winged sun is a symbol associated with divinity, royalty and power in the Ancient Near East (Egypt, Persia, etc.)

Sphinx

sphinxThe Sphinx is said to have guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a riddle of travellers to allow them passage. The exact riddle asked by the Sphinx was not specified by early tellers of the stories, and was not standardized as the one given below until late in Greek history.

The Uraeus

uraeus egyptThe uraeus was used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity, and divine authority in ancient Egypt. The Uraeus is a symbol for the goddess Wadjet, who was one of the earliest Egyptian deities and who often was depicted as a cobra.

Djed

egyptian djedThe djed is a pillar-like symbol in hieroglyphics representing stability. It is associated with Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead. It is commonly understood to represent his spine. It was also sometimes used to represent Osiris himself, often combined "with a pair of eyes between the crossbars and holding the crook and flail."

Was

was symbolThis is a symbol of power and dominion. The Was scepter is carried by deities as a sign of their great power.

Egyptian Pyramid

egyptian pyramidMost were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.

Flail and Crook

flail and crook egyptianThe flail is depicted alongside the "crook" as symbols of office for the crowned Egyptian Pharaoh. The flail symbolises the Pharaoh's role as provider of food for his people and the crook symbolises his role as the shepherd of his people. Both crook and flail also serve to link the Pharaoh with Osiris. Depictions of Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the embalming, also include the flail as an attribute.

Hedjet

hedject crown The White Crown. This was the crown of Upper Southern Egypt

 

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