This symbol represents the horizon from which the sun emerged and
disappeared. The horizon thus embodied the idea of both sunrise and
sunset. It is similar to the two peaks of the Djew
or mountain symbol with solar disk in the center. Both the beginning
and the end of each day was guarded by Aker, a double lion god. In the
New Kingdom, Harmakhet ("Horus in the
Horizon") became the god of the rising and setting sun. He was pictured
as a falcon, or as a sphinx with the body of a lion. The Great Sphinx
of Giza is an example of "Horus in the Horizon".
This symbol represents the Underworld or Land of the Dead. Originally
it meant the horizon of the sun set. Later, it became the symbol of the
west bank of the Nile, where the sun set and also where the Egyptians
traditionally buried their dead.
Symbol of eternal life. The gods are often seen holding an ankh to
someone's lips this is considered to be an offering of "The Breath of
Life". The breath you will need in the afterlife.
The atef crown was worn by Osiris. It is
made up of the white crown of Upper Egypt and the red feathers are
representative of Busiris, Osiris's cult center in the
The Ba is what we might call someones personality. It would leave the
body at the time of death. During the days the Ba would make itself
useful, at night it would return to the tomb. At this time, it would
look for the person to which it belonged. This would be the mummy,
however, often the egyptians would supply the Ba with a statue in the
likeness of the deceased in case the mummy was lost
During mummification the internal organs were removed and placed in
four containers. These containers often have human or animal-headed
stoppers. The word, canopic, comes from the Greek name of the local god
of Canopus in the Nile delta, who was represented as a human-headed
pot. Canopic jars can be made of limestone, alabaster, wood, pottery,
or even cartonnage. The heads of the canopic jar represented the Four Sons of Horus
. . . . .From
to right they are;
Imsety: The human headed
of the liver
The Red Crown. This was the crown that represented Lower
It is believed that the Djed is a rendering of a human backbone. It
represents stability and strength. It was originally associated with
the creation god Ptah. Himself being called
the "Noble Djed". As the Osiris cults took
hold it became known as the backbone of Osiris
. A djed column is often painted on the bottom of coffins, where the
backbone of the deceased would lay, this identified the person with the
king of the underworld, Osiris. It also
acts as a sign of stability for the deceased' journey
into the afterlife.
Which means mountain, the symbol suggests two peaks with the Nile
valley in the middle. The Egyptians believed that there was a cosmic
mountain range that held up the heavens. This mountain range had two
peaks, the western peak was called Manu, while the eastern peak was
called Bakhu. It was on these peaks that heaven rested. Each peak of
this mountain chain was guarded by a lion deity, who's job it was to
protect the sun as it rose and set. The mountain was also a symbol of
the tomb and the afterlife, probably because most Egyptian tombs were
located in the mountainous land bordering the Nile valley. In some
texts we find Anubis, the gaurdian of the
tomb being referred to as "He who is upon his
mountain." Sometimes we find Hathor takeing
on the attributes of a deity of the afterlife, at this time she is
called "Mistress of the Necropolis."
She is rendered as the head of a cow protruding from a mountainside.
Feather of Maat
Represents truth, justice, morality and balance. It was pharaoh's job
to uphold Maat. When a pharaoh died, Maat was lost and the world was
flung into chaos, only the coronation of a new pharaoh could
Fetish of Osiris
An animal skin hanging from a stick, this is a symbol of Osiris and Anubis.
Flail and Crook
A symbol of royalty, majesty and dominion.
The heb glyph represents an alabaster bowl. These bowls were used for
special purposes like festivals or feasts.
The Heb-Sed glyph Is a combination of the heb
glyph and the sed glyph. It represents the Heb-Sed or Jubilee festival. This
festival was celebrated on the 30th
year of a pharoah's rule. It was believed to renew the pharaohs
strength of rule over the two lands.
The White Crown. This was the crown of Upper Egypt
This symbol represents a heart. The Egyptian believed the heart was the
center of all consciousness, even the center of life itself. When
someone died it was said that their "heart has departed." It was the
only organ that was not removed from the body during mummification. In
the Book of the dead, it was the heart that
was weighed against the feather of Maat
to see if an
individual was worthy of joining Osiris in
represent the west or western desert AKA the land of the dead. The
horizon on which Ra dies at night and enters the underworld.
The ka is usually translated as "soul" or "spirit" The ka came into
existence when an individual was born. It was believed that the
ram-headed god Khnum crafted the ka on his
potter's wheel at a persons birth. It was thought that when someone
died they "met their ka". A persons ka would live on after their body
had died. Some tombs included model houses as the ka needed a place to
live. Offerings of food and drink would be left at the tomb entrance so
the ka could eat and drink.
The blue crown was a ceremonial crown often worn in
This symbol represents a lamp or brazier on a stand from which a flame
emerges. Fire was embodied in the sun and in its symbol the uraeus which spit fire. Fire also plays a
part in the
Egyptian concept of the underworld. There is one terrifying aspect of
the underworld which is similar to the christians concept of hell. Most
egyptians would like to avoid this place with its fiery lakes and
rivers that are inhabited by fire demons.
Represents truth, justice, morality and balance. Deities are often seen
standing on this symbol, as if standing on a foundation
This symbol represents a heavy beaded necklace with a crescent shaped
front and a counter piece at the rear. It was a symbol associated with
the goddess Hathor and her son, Ihy. In
fact , Hathor was known as the "Great Menat". We often see Hathor using the Menat as a conduit through
which she passes her power. It was representative of the ideas of joy,
life, potency, fertility, birth, and rebirth. It was not uncommon in
the New Kingdom, to see the king offering the Menat to Hathor. This probably meant to represent the
king symbolically with the goddess' son, Ihy. This idea of divine
assimilation was common, although the best examples are of the king
representing the falcon god, Horus.
A scribes pallet. Writing was a very important skill to the ancient
Egyptians. It was practiced by a group called scribes. The writing
equipment used by scribes consisted of a palette, which held black and
red pigments, a water jar, and a pen. To be a scribe was a favorable
position, even some kings and nobles are show proudly displaying
Shrine in which divine statues were kept, especially in temple
sanctuaries. A small wooden naos was normally placed inside a
monolithic one in hard stone; the latter are
typical of the Late
Period, and sometimes elaborately decorated. Also used as a term for
This symbol represents gold which was considered a divine metal, it was
thought to be the flesh of the gods. Its polished surface was related
to the brilliance of the sun. Gold was important to the afterlife as it
represents aspects of immortality. By the New Kingdom, the royal burial
chamber was called the "House of Gold."
The two ladies of upper and lower Egypt. Nekhbet the vulture goddess,
protrectress of Upper Egypt and Wadjet the cobra goddess associated
with lower Egypt and the Nile delta. There is a beautiful rendering
of these two ladies in the White Chapel
of Senwosret I.
A goddess portrayed as a vulture. Protrectress of
A striped headcloth worn by Pharaohs.
The Gods or having to do with the gods.
The Egyptians would put a notch in a palm branch to mark the passing of
a year in the life of a pharaoh. It symbolized the measure of time.
This symbol depicts the sky as a ceiling which drops at the ends, the
same way the real sky seems to reach for the horizon. This sign was
often used in architectural motifs; the top of walls, and door frames.
It symbolizes the heavens.
The Egyptians believed that during creation this hill rose out of the
sea of chaos to create dry land. The idea of this hill rising had a
profound effect on the egyptians, being used as every thing from temple
layouts to the possible inspiration behind the pyramids. A.K.A benben stone
The Double Crown, the red crown and the white crown put together to
represent a unified Egypt. Although Egypt was not always a unified
nation it was stronger that way.Therefore unification was desirable.
Narmer (Menes), the founder of the First Dynasty around 3100 B.C., was
the first man recorded wearing this crown.
The sun was the primary element of life in ancient Egypt, we find this
importance reflected in the art and religion. Some of the most popular
gods had a solar connection. The sun was first worshipped as Horus, then as Ra and
later as Amun-Ra There are many other
representations of the sun, including Khepri,
representing evening. During the reign
of Akhenaten, the sun was worshipped as the Aten. A form of the sun disk with its rays
depicted as arms holding ankh signs. Another common form that the sun
takes is that of Horus
Behudety, the winged sun disk flanked
This symbol means protection. Its origins are uncertain, but it is
speculated that it represents either a rolled up herdsman's shelter or
a papyrus life-preserver used by ancient egyptian boaters. Either way
it is clearly a symbol of protection. From early times the sa plays an
important part in jewelry design. It is often used in conjunction with
symbols, particularly the ankh, was and djed signs. We often find Taurt, the hippopotamus goddess of
childbirth, resting her paw on a standing sa sign.
Called the dung beetle because of its practice of rolling a ball of
dung across the ground. The Egyptians observed this behavior and
equated it with the ball of the sun being rolled across the sky. They
confused this balled food source with the egg sack that the female dung
beetle laid and buried in the sand. When the eggs hatched the dung
beetles would seem to appear from nowhere, making it a symbol of
spontaneous creation. In this role it was
associated with the sunrise. Khepri was the
scarab headed god.
This is a representation of the pavilion used in the Heb-Sed
This is a symbol of authority.
This is a rendering of the lungs attached to the windpipe. As a
hieroglyph this symbol represents the unification of Upper and Lower
Egypt. Other symbols are often added to further illustrate unification.
There are many fine examples of this
symbol throughout Egypt.
In these renderings we see the Sema
bound with two plants, the
papyrus and the lotus. The papyrus represents Lower Egypt and the lotus
represents Upper Egypt.
In other representations we find two gods
binding the Sema together
using lotus and papyrus which represents the binding together of upper
and lower Egypt.
A Lotus Flower. This is a symbol of the sun, of creation and rebirth.
Because at night the flower closes and sinks underwater, at dawn it
rises and opens again. According to one creation myth it was a giant
lotus which first rose out of the watery chaos at the beginning of
time. From this giant lotus the sun itself rose on
the first day. A symbol of Upper Egypt
A pool of water. The Egyptians portrayed bodies of water by means of
equally spaced vertical wave lines. When these lines are inclosed by a
rectangle it denotes a lake or pool. The Egyptians believed water was
the primeval matter from which aII creation began. Life in Egypt's
desert climate depended on water, and a pool of water would be a great
luxury. There are many tomb paintings that show the deceased drinking
from a pool in the afterlife.
A loop of rope that has no beginning and no end, it symbolized
eternity. The sun disk is often depicted in the center of it. The shen
also seems to be a symbol of protection. It is often seen being
clutched by deities in bird form, Horus the
falcon, Mut the vulture. Hovering over Pharaohs
head with their wings outstretched in a gesture of protection. The word
shen comes from the word "shenu" which means "encircle," and in its
elongated form became the cartouche which
More commonly know as a cartouche. The shape represents a loop of rope
in which a name is written. A protector of that name. See
The sistrum was a sacred percussion instrument used in the cult of Hathor. The sistrum consisted of a wooden or
metal frame fitted with loose strips of metal and disks which jingled
when moved. This noise was thought to attract the attention of the
gods. There are two types of sistrum, an iba, was shaped in a simple
loop, like a closed horse-shoe with loose cross bars of metal above a
Hathor head and a long handle. The seseshet had the
shape of a naos temple above a Hathor head, with ornamental loops on
the sides. The rattle was inside the box of the naos. They were usually
carried by women of high rank.
This bird is called the Lapwing, it is identified by its head crest,
Its wings are pined back preventing it from flying. This symbol
signifies a group of people. It is often seen below the feet of a ruler
to signify that the people are subjects of that ruler.
Kingdom, the symbol develops human arms which are held in the act of
giving praise. In this form it can be interpreted to mean "a group of
people giving praise."
The exact origin of this symbol is unknown. In many respects it
resembles an ankh except that its arms
Its meaning is also reminiscent of the ankh,
the Third Dynasty
we find the tiet being used as decoration when it appears with both the
ankh and the djed column, and
later with the was scepter. The tiet is
with Isis and is often called "the knot of
Isis" or "the blood of Isis." It seems to be called "the knot of Isis"
because it resembles a knot used to secure the garments that the gods
wore. The meaning of "the blood of Isis" is more obscured but it was
often used as a funerary amulet made of a red stone or glass. In the
Late Period the sign was associated with the goddesses Nephthys, Hathor,
and Nut as well as with Isis. In all
cases it seems to represent the ideas of resurrection
The sound eye of Horus. Symbolizes healing and
The cobra is an emblem of Lower Egypt. It is associated with the king,
and kingdom of Lower Egypt. It is also associated with the sun and with
many deities. The cobra represented the "fiery eye of Re", in which two
uraei can be seen on either side of a winged
The uraeus appears as a symbol worn on the
crown or headdress of royalty. It is used as a protective symbol, the
Egyptians believed that the cobra would spit fire at
any approaching enemies.
Literally translated it means "to answer." It is a small mummiform
figure placed in tombs to do work in the afterlife on behalf of the
deceased. In some tombs of the late New Kingdom whole gangs of ushabti
workers were included with different tools for doing different work. A
complete collection would consist of 401 Ushabti: one for each day of
the year, 365 plus 36 foreman.
This is a symbol of power and dominion. The Was scepter is carried by
deities as a sign of their power. It is also seen being carried by
kings and later by people of lesser stature in
Winged Solar Disk
This is a form that the god Horus Behudety
(Horus of Edfu) takes in his battles with Seth. The god Thoth
used his magic to turn Horus into a sun-disk with splendid outstretched
wings. The goddesses Nekhbet and Uazet in the form of uraeus
snakes joined him at his side.