Egyptian Symbols

Ancient Egyptian History for kids - Egyptian Symbols & Meanings

The history of ancient Egypt and the significance and meanings of ancient Egyptian Symbols and signs


Ancient Egyptian Symbols
Discover the history, significance and meanings of ancient Egyptian Symbols and signs. Ancient Egyptian Symbols features in many
Hieroglyphics, images and pictures of ancient Egypt and understanding the meanings of ancient Egyptian Symbols enables a fuller understanding of ancient Egyptian history. The Ancient Egyptian Symbols typically symbolize, life, love and death and were symbols of divine power, immortality, reincarnation and healing or emblems of authority.  The most famous ancient Egyptian symbols and signs of ancient Egypt are the ankh, the 'all-seeing' Eye of Horus, the Was Sceptre and the djed column. Additional information about ancient gods is also available via:

Facts about Egyptian Symbols
Egyptian Symbols played an important in ancient Egypt. Depictions of Egyptian symbols can be seen in art, artefacts, relics found in the tombs, temples, hieroglyphics and manuscripts of the ancient Egyptians. Look at the top of the page, and the other images contained in this, and other articles on ancient Egypt, and you will see many depictions of Egyptian Symbols and signs including the Ankh, the Eye of Horus, Was Sceptre, Djed pillar, Scarab, Winged Sun, Shen, Cartouche, Lotus Flower, Cobra, Circle of Ouroboros and the Crook and Flail Egyptian symbols. Your understanding of ancient Egypt will increase at a glance when you understand the meanings of Egyptian Symbols and signs. 

Egyptian Symbols Fact File

Color Symbolism:

Definition: The symbolism of the colors in Egyptian symbols was used to great effect when depicting the symbols, images and characteristics of the various Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses. Every color had a meaning
Hieroglyphics:Definition: Hieroglyphics consists of a writing system, developed in ancient Egypt, that use picture symbols to convey concepts and ideas.


Hieroglyph:Definition: A Hieroglyph is a pictographic character in the ancient Egyptian writing system, or picture language, and was invented before 3000 BC.
Glyph:Definition: A Glyph consists of picture symbols and pictographs, symbols in which objects were represented by a miniature, often stylized, drawing
Two-Dimensional Art:Definition: Ancient Egyptian art is two-dimensional meaning a work of art that is flat and viewed from the front, having the dimensions of width and height only. The figures of humans were drawn in profile but with one eye and both shoulders shown frontally, legs are shown side ways
Fetish:Definition: Some ancient Egyptian Symbols, like the Ankh or the eye, were believed to be a fetish, an object that was believed to embody magical powers, used to create a bond between the mortal world and the Underworld

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses


Egyptian Symbols
The ancient Egyptians used many symbols and signs to convey stories and meanings. Our illustrated Symbols and Signs guide to Egyptian symbols and signs provides a unique insight into the ancient and mysterious signs and symbols used in these unusual forms of non-verbal communication. Some of the Symbols and Signs used in the Hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt were similar to simple pictograms. A pictogram conveys a stories and meanings through pictures of symbols and signs that signify and resemble the shapes of physical objects or people. An Ideagram is a form of Hieroglyph which conveys complex ideas, feelings and emotions.

Pictures of the Symbols of Egypt
Symbols used in Egyptian Hieroglyphics
Hieroglyphics Alphabet - Language of the Egyptian gods

Egyptian Symbols - Symbol of Power & Authority
Egyptian Symbols was a symbol of power and authority and formed part of the part of the regalia carried on formal occasions by ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Priests, Gods and Goddesses. The picture of the left depicts Anubis with various symbols of power and authority including the Was Sceptre. The other symbols that are often depicted in in hieroglyphics featuring Pharaohs Gods and Goddesses.

  • Meaning of the Ankh symbol: The Ankh sign, also known as key of life, was depicted as a "cross with a handle" that represented eternal life
  • Meaning of the  Crook symbol: The crook sign symbolized the role as the 'shepherd' of the people
  • Meaning of the Flail symbol: The flail sign symbolized the role as provider of food for the people
  • Meaning of the Eye of Horus symbol: The 'Eye of Horus' was a protective, sacred amulet was that adorned both the living and the dead. It was was one of the most potent symbols of ancient Egypt symbolizing healing, restoration, protection and sacrifice
  • Meaning of the Circle of Ouroboros symbol:  The Circle of Ouroboros symbol depicts a serpent or snake eating its own tail, symbolizing renewal
  • Meaning of the Djed symbol‎: The djed sign was a pillar-like symbol used in in hieroglyphics representing stability
  • Meaning of the Crowns of Egypt: Crowns and head-dresses were symbols of power and status
    • The Red Crown was called the Deshret the symbol that represented Lower Egypt (north)
    • The White Crown was called the Hedjet, the symbol that represented Upper Egypt (southern)
    • The Pshent was the red and white Double Crown that represented a unified Egypt
    • The Khepresh was the blue crown that was worn in battle
    • The Atef crown was worn by the god Osiris. It is made up of the tall, conical, white crown of Upper Egypt with ostrich feathers on each side. The Atef was occasionally depicted topped with a gold disk
  • Meaning of the Cobra symbol: The Uraeus is the cobra emblem and symbol of the Pharaohs of Lower Egypt. The uraeus appears as a symbol worn on the royal crown. It is also associated with the sun and with many gods and goddesses
  • Meaning of the 'Was Scepter': The 'was' sceptre was a long staff, topped with a symbolic animal head, believed to embody magical powers, symbolizing divine power and was an emblem of authority
  • Meaning of the False Beard symbol: Pharaohs and gods were depicted a false plaited beard that was tightly knotted, plaited and hooked behind the ears. Beards with an upward pointing curl were called an “osird” or “the divine beard". Living pharaohs wore a beard with a straight edge. Only when they died could they wear the “osird”
  • Meaning of the Animal Heads: Gods and goddesses were depicted with the bodies of humans with the heads of animals that instantly conveyed the identity, qualities and attributes of the god
  • Meaning of the Bird with a human head - the Ba: The bird, a hawk, with a human head represented an aspect of the soul called the Ba that symbolized the deceased
  • Meaning of the Cartouche symbol: A cartouche is an oblong, or oval, magical rope which was drawn to contain the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics that spelt out the name of a Pharaoh or Queen.
  • Meaning of the Shen symbol: The Shen ring, or 'Shenu' (represented in hieroglyphs as a stylised loop of a rope) formed the encircling elongated ring of the cartouche which enclosed and protected a royal name. The symbol of the Shen, shown in the  picture, encircles the cartouche of Tutankhamen
  • Meaning of the Scarab symbol: A Scarab Beetle, or dung beetle was sacred to the ancient Egyptians as it seemed to emerge from nowhere, served as a symbol of regeneration and creation conveying ideas of transformation, renewal, and resurrection
  • Meaning of the Winged Sun symbol: The winged sun is a symbol associated with the sun, protection, divinity, royalty and power
  • Meaning of the Tree of Life: The Tree of Life symbolized Knowledge of the Divine Plan, the equivalent to a map of destiny
  • Meaning of Ostrich Feathers: The ostrich was symbol of creation and light as worn by the God Shu and Amun. The Feather of  Maat represented truth, order and justice
  • Meaning of the Lotus Flower symbol (water lily): Water lilies, lotus flowers,  open in the morning and close again at night symbolizing rebirth and regeneration. The lotus flower were used to symbolize the deceased as he entered into the underworld and his rebirth
  • Meaning of the Bennu Bird (Phoenix): The Bennu was a phoenix-like bird of that sheltered in the the Tree of Life, at Heliopolis. It symbolized resurrection and the rising sun and was associated with the rising of the Nile
  • Meaning of the Ntr: The Ancient Egyptians referred to god, or any deity, as "Ntr" or Ntjr" that is indicated by the hieroglyphic symbol of an axe or pennant with a long handle as the Emblem of Divinity (see adjacent picture)

Anubis with symbols

The Djed, Ankh and Was Sceptre

Ancient Egyptian symbols:
Was Sceptre, Djed and the Ankh



Eye of Horus

Egyptian symbols including the Ntr


Egyptian Symbols

  • Interesting information, facts and the meaning of ancient Egyptian Symbols
  • Egyptian Symbols, the ankh, eye, scarab and the Ouroboros
  • History and Egyptian Mythology associated with Egyptian Symbols
  • Facts and information about the Egyptian symbols of the Ancient World for schools, research and kids
  • Pictures, Description and description of ancient Egyptian Symbols for kids

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses


Meanings of Colors in Egyptian Symbols
There is also meaning in the colors used on Egyptian symbols, signs and hieroglyphics.  Six basic colors were used in creating ancient Egyptian art and symbols - white, black, red, yellow, blue and green. A small pestle and mortar was used for grinding colors. The colors used were symbolic and all had different meanings. The colors used in paintings of Pharaohs, gods and goddesses were traditionally painted with a dark red-brown color for the body of a man, whereas the body of a woman was painted as lighter, yellow-brown color. These differences in colors represented the mainly outdoor life of a man as opposed to the more secluded, indoor lifestyle of a woman. The symbolism of the colors used had the following meanings.

  • Meaning of the color Blue in symbols: The color Blue represented water, the sky, life, fertility and re-birth
  • Meaning of the color Green in symbols: The color Green was the color of vegetation and represented new life, rebirth and regeneration
  • Meaning of the color white in symbols: The color white was a sacred color, representing purity, power and greatness
  • Meaning of the color Black in symbols: The color Black represented death, the night and the Afterlife. Black was also associated with the fertility of the land. The ancient Egyptians called the river Nile 'Ar or Aur' meaning “Black,” in allusion to the color of the deposits carried by the river when it flooded. The 'Black Lands' were the farming areas on the banks of the Nile producing crops such as cereals, wheat and barley
  • Meaning of the color Red in symbols: The color Red represented life and victory and was also used to convey anger
  • Meaning of the color Yellow in symbols: The color Yellow was used to represent gold and therefore used to convey that the subject was imperishable and indestructible
  • When used to represent resurrection, black and green were interchangeable.

Egyptian Symbols
The facts and information provided in this article explains the meanings of the most important symbols and signs used in ancient Egypt. The meanings of colors and color symbolism and the meaning of symbols and signs of the ancient Egyptians including the Ankh Egyptian symbol, the Eye of Horus Egyptian symbol, Was Sceptre, Djed pillar symbol, Scarab Egyptian symbol, Winged Sun Egyptian symbol, Shen Egyptian symbol, Cartouche Egyptian symbol, Lotus Flower, Cobra Egyptian symbol, Circle of Ouroboros, Crook and Flail Egyptian symbols.


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