In hieroglyphics, ancient Egyptian symbols were used to represent sounds and words. But there are also symbols that were used to represent ideas and stories, and these were not part of a specific writing system.
Most of these symbols were used to represent specific religious beliefs and rituals - kind of like how we use crosses on rosaries, or the crescent moon and a star on flags, or the star of David on pendants.
The ancient Egyptians used symbols for protection, just like in modern Egypt with our own set of symbols – such as the "Khamsa", which is a palm (sometimes with an eye in the middle) that we wear as a pendant for protection against the evil eye.
They also believed in the magical quality of symbolism, using them not only for protection, but also for luck and prosperity.
Some of them were used throughout all of Egypt, regardless of cults and traditions of the time or area; some were specific to Upper Egypt, and some were specific to Lower Egypt.
They were worn on amulets, inscribed on sarcophagi, painted on tombs and carved on temple walls.
Egyptian symbols have become so popular that they are now favorites at some tattoo parlors!
In this section you will find some of the most significant symbols from ancient Egypt, their uses, and what they represented.
Just click on the symbols below to learn more!