Egyptian tattoo designs seem to have had a rebirth in popularity. They are striking, ancient symbolic images that have been adopted as art all over the world. Tattooing was not incredibly widespread among Egyptians with the exception of the women. Princesses, priestesses and dancers were often tattooed with shapes and parallel lines.
The History of Egyptian Tattoo Designs
Thanks to the mummified women being discovered, anthropologists have been able to elaborate ritual burials. One of the most famous mummies that has been written about is a priestess, Amunet who displayed many dots and lines tattooed at specific areas of your body.
An additional mummy belonging to a dancer was found displaying the same line pattern. However, she also showed a cicatrix pattern at her lower pubic region. These designs have been called the “Brides of Death” label.
These specific dash and dot patterns have been observed through years in Egypt. Evidence to date offers the idea that tattooing was pretty restricted to women and generally these women had an affiliation with ritualistic practice. These mummies have given the knowledge that Egyptian tattoo designs started long before 2,000 B.C.
Ankh tattoos are created from an ancient symbol that houses magical protection. It is a symbolic cross that greatly predates the common Christian cross by thousands of years. The Ankh cross resembles a Latin cross however the top of it has a rounded component. It is considered a hieroglyphic life symbol. It is quite versatile and can be dramatic and large, paired up with other symbols or it can be designed small and discrete. They are reported to be a common tattoo with gangs to represent eternal life among members.
Eye Of Horus Tattoos
The Eye of Horus is one of the most common Egyptian tattoo designs. It is a symbol of protection that was used on amulets, skins and bracelets. Horus was the sky god that was described as a falcon. The Eye of Horus is the falcon’s right eye with the markings portrayed under the eye to be a teardrop representation. It is common to see this tattoo incorporated in a pyramid.
Anubis, in ancient Egyptian mythology was the god over the dead. He was a jackal’s head and a man’s body and carried a stick in one hand and his other hand wears an ankh cross. These Egyptian tattoo designs symbolize a protection from death.
Ancient Egypt used hieroglyphs for writing purposes and they could be interpreted in two different ways. The first way was phonetic, a 24 symbol, hieroglyphic alphabet that represents a consonant. The second way is logo-graphic, a hieroglyph that has a symbol representing an entire word.
Phoenix Egyptian tattoo designs symbolize resurrection and rebirth. The mythological bird lives for 500 years at a time, creates a myrrh nest and burns himself in the nest. Three days later a new phoenix is born from these ashes. The Egyptian phoenix goes by the name of Bennu and it is said to be the soul of Ra who was the sun god.
Other Egyptian Tattoos
Scarab Tattoos – The dung beetle, or scarab was a worshiped creature in ancient Egypt.
Djed Tattoos – This is a tower-looking Egyptian symbol that represents stability.
Cat Tattoos – Bastet was the Egyptian cat who was the goddess of the moon.
Celebrities With Egyptian Tattoos
- Anastacia – Singer shows of an eternal life symbol on her lower back.
- Jennifer Esposito – Actress had an Eye of Horus on her back.
- Adam Lambert – Singer has a small Eye of Horus present on his right wrist.
- Vanessa Marcil – Actress displays an Egyptian symbol of peace on her lower back.
- Ville Valo – HIM singer boasts an Egyptian flame on his leg.
- Rasheed Wallace – NBA player displays an Egyptian scene.
- Tupac Shakur – Late rapper had a queen Nefertiti head tattoo.
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