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Symbols and Deﬁnitions
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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.
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These containers often have human or animal-headed stoppers. it would look for the person to which it belonged. It is made up of the white crown of Upper Egypt and the red feathers are representative of Busiris.html Ankh Symbol of eternal life. canopic. The word. Canopic Jars During mummiﬁcation the internal organs were removed and placed in four containers. Atef The atef crown was worn by Osiris. The gods are often seen holding an ankh to someone's lips this is considered to be an oﬀering of "The Breath of Life".Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. During the days the Ba would make itself useful. At this time. however. This would be the mummy. comes from the Greek name of the local god of 2 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . The breath you will need in the afterlife.com/symlst. often the egyptians would supply the Ba with a statue in the likeness of the deceased in case the mummy was lost or damaged. It would leave the body at the time of death.egyptartsite. Osiris's cult center in the Delta. at night it would return to the tomb. Ba The Ba is what we might call someones personality.
Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www.egyptartsite.From left to right they are. 3 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Hapy: The baboon headed guardian of the lungs Duamutef: The jackal or wild dog headed guardian of the stomach. . who was represented as a humanheaded pot. or even cartonnage. The heads of the canopic jar represented the Four Sons of Horus . . Canopic jars can be made of limestone.html Canopus in the Nile delta. . Imsety: The human headed guardian of the liver Qebekh-sennuef: The falcon headed guardian of the intestines.com/symlst. . alabaster. wood. pottery.
This was the crown that represented Lower Egypt (northern)." Sometimes we ﬁnd Hathor takeing on the attributes of a deity of the afterlife. The mountain was also a symbol of the tomb and the afterlife. Himself being called the "Noble Djed". It represents stability and strength. probably because most Egyptian tombs were located in the mountainous land bordering the Nile valley. while the eastern peak was called Bakhu.com/symlst. Djew Which means mountain. It was originally associated with the creation god Ptah. In some texts we ﬁnd Anubis. Osiris. the gaurdian of the tomb being referred to as "He who is upon his mountain. A djed column is often painted on the bottom of coﬃns. where the backbone of the deceased would lay.egyptartsite. who's job it was to protect the sun as it rose and set. As the Osiris cults took hold it became known as the backbone of Osiris . Djed It is believed that the Djed is a rendering of a human backbone. It was on these peaks that heaven rested. The Egyptians believed that there was a cosmic mountain range that held up the heavens. the symbol suggests two peaks with the Nile valley in the middle.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. Each peak of this mountain chain was guarded by a lion deity. It also acts as a sign of stability for the deceased' journey into the afterlife. this identiﬁed the person with the king of the underworld. This mountain range had two peaks. at this time she is 4 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . the western peak was called Manu.html Deshret The Red Crown.
egyptartsite.html called "Mistress of the Necropolis. justice. Maat was lost and the world was ﬂung into chaos. Fetish of Osiris An animal skin hanging from a stick. this is a symbol of Osiris and Anubis." She is rendered as the head of a cow protruding from a mountainside. When a pharaoh died. It was pharaoh's job to uphold Maat. Feather of Maat Represents truth. Flail and Crook A symbol of royalty. majesty and dominion.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. These bowls were used for special purposes like festivals or feasts. only the coronation of a new pharaoh could restore Maat. morality and balance.com/symlst. 5 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Heb The heb glyph represents an alabaster bowl.
it was the heart that was weighed against the feather of Maat to see if an individual was worthy of joining Osiris in the afterlife. It was believed to renew the pharaohs strength of rule over the two lands. Imenet These symbols represent the west or western desert AKA the land of the dead. Hedjet The White Crown.com/symlst. Ieb This symbol represents a heart.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. When someone died it was said that their "heart has departed. This was the crown of Upper Egypt (southern). This festival was celebrated on the 30th year of a pharoah's rule. It represents the Heb-Sed or Jubilee festival.egyptartsite. even the center of life itself. The Egyptian believed the heart was the center of all consciousness. In the Book of the dead." It was the only organ that was not removed from the body during mummiﬁcation. The horizon on which Ra dies at 6 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 .html Heb-Sed The Heb-Sed glyph Is a combination of the heb glyph and the sed glyph.
justice. Fire was embodied in the sun and in its symbol the uraeus which spit ﬁre. morality and balance. Fire also plays a part in the Egyptian concept of the underworld. Some tombs included model houses as the ka needed a place to live.com/symlst.egyptartsite. Oﬀerings of food and drink would be left at the tomb entrance so the ka could eat and drink. Khet This symbol represents a lamp or brazier on a stand from which a ﬂame emerges. 7 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Khepresh The blue crown was a ceremonial crown often worn in battle. It was thought that when someone died they "met their ka".html night and enters the underworld. Deities are often seen standing on this symbol. Ka The ka is usually translated as "soul" or "spirit" The ka came into existence when an individual was born. There is one terrifying aspect of the underworld which is similar to the christians concept of hell. as if standing on a foundation of Maat. Most egyptians would like to avoid this place with its ﬁery lakes and rivers that are inhabited by ﬁre demons. It was believed that the ram-headed god Khnum crafted the ka on his potter's wheel at a persons birth.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. A persons ka would live on after their body had died. Maat Represents truth.
to see the king oﬀering the Menat to Hathor. fertility. which held black and red pigments. The writing equipment used by scribes consisted of a palette. Also used as a term for temple sanctuary. It was representative of the ideas of joy. Ihy. To be a scribe was a favorable position. This probably meant to represent the king symbolically with the goddess' son. This idea of divine assimilation was common. It was not uncommon in the New Kingdom. especially in temple sanctuaries. although the best examples are of the king representing the falcon god.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. the latter are typical of the Late Period. birth. potency. Horus. and sometimes elaborately decorated. and a pen. It was practiced by a group called scribes. a water jar. Ihy. It was a symbol associated with the goddess Hathor and her son. 8 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Writing was a very important skill to the ancient Egyptians.html Menat This symbol represents a heavy beaded necklace with a crescent shaped front and a counter piece at the rear. Hathor was known as the "Great Menat".com/symlst. In fact . Menhed A scribes pallet. and rebirth. even some kings and nobles are show proudly displaying scribe palettes. A small wooden naos was normally placed inside a monolithic one in hard stone. We often see Hathor using the Menat as a conduit through which she passes her power. Naos Shrine in which divine statues were kept.egyptartsite. life.
Nemes A striped headcloth worn by Pharaohs. There is a beautiful rendering of these two ladies in the White Chapel of Senwosret I.egyptartsite. the royal burial chamber was called the "House of Gold. Its polished surface was related to the brilliance of the sun.html Nebu This symbol represents gold which was considered a divine metal. By the New Kingdom. Nekhbet A goddess portrayed as a vulture. 9 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Nekhbet the vulture goddess. Protrectress of Upper Egypt.com/symlst.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. Gold was important to the afterlife as it represents aspects of immortality. protrectress of Upper Egypt and Wadjet the cobra goddess associated with lower Egypt and the Nile delta. it was thought to be the ﬂesh of the gods." Nebty The two ladies of upper and lower Egypt.
Primordial mound The Egyptians believed that during creation this hill rose out of the sea of chaos to create dry land.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www.com/symlst. This sign was often used in architectural motifs. being used as every thing from temple layouts to the possible inspiration behind the pyramids. A.K. The idea of this hill rising had a profound eﬀect on the egyptians.egyptartsite. the top of walls. the same way the real sky seems to reach for the horizon. Pet This symbol depicts the sky as a ceiling which drops at the ends. It symbolizes the heavens. and door frames.html Neter The Gods or having to do with the gods. 10 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 .A benben stone Pshent The Double Crown. It symbolized the measure of time. Palm Branch The Egyptians would put a notch in a palm branch to mark the passing of a year in the life of a pharaoh. the red crown and the white crown put together to represent a uniﬁed Egypt.
The Egyptians observed this behavior and equated it with 11 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Sa This symbol means protection. Another common form that the sun takes is that of Horus Behudety. The sun was ﬁrst worshipped as Horus.. the great scarab who symbolizes morning and the ram-headed god Khnum representing evening. particularly the ankh. resting her paw on a standing sa sign. we ﬁnd this importance reﬂected in the art and religion.C. We often ﬁnd Taurt. Its origins are uncertain. It is often used in conjunction with symbols.html Although Egypt was not always a uniﬁed nation it was stronger that way. but it is speculated that it represents either a rolled up herdsman's shelter or a papyrus life-preserver used by ancient egyptian boaters. the winged sun disk ﬂanked by uraeus. Ra The sun was the primary element of life in ancient Egypt. the founder of the First Dynasty around 3100 B. was the ﬁrst man recorded wearing this crown. was and djed signs. A form of the sun disk with its rays depicted as arms holding ankh signs. Either way it is clearly a symbol of protection.Therefore uniﬁcation was desirable. During the reign of Akhenaten. the sun was worshipped as the Aten. then as Ra and later as Amun-Ra There are many other representations of the sun. the hippopotamus goddess of childbirth.egyptartsite.com/symlst. From early times the sa plays an important part in jewelry design. including Khepri. Some of the most popular gods had a solar connection. Narmer (Menes).Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. Scarab Called the dung beetle because of its practice of rolling a ball of dung across the ground.
Other symbols are often added to further illustrate uniﬁcation. In these renderings we see the Sema bound with two plants. Sekhem This is a symbol of authority. Sema This is a rendering of the lungs attached to the windpipe. the papyrus and the lotus. Sed This is a representation of the pavilion used in the Heb-Sed ceremonies. 12 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Khepri was the scarab headed god. As a hieroglyph this symbol represents the uniﬁcation of Upper and Lower Egypt. There are many ﬁne examples of this symbol throughout Egypt. The papyrus represents Lower Egypt and the lotus represents Upper Egypt. When the eggs hatched the dung beetles would seem to appear from nowhere. In this role it was associated with the sunrise.egyptartsite. They confused this balled food source with the egg sack that the female dung beetle laid and buried in the sand. making it a symbol of spontaneous creation.com/symlst.html the ball of the sun being rolled across the sky.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www.
From this giant lotus the sun itself rose on the ﬁrst day. According to one creation myth it was a giant lotus which ﬁrst rose out of the watery chaos at the beginning of time. Sesen A Lotus Flower. at dawn it rises and opens again. There are many tomb paintings that show the deceased drinking from a pool in the afterlife. The Egyptians believed water was the primeval matter from which aII creation began. and a pool of water would be a great luxury. When these lines are inclosed by a rectangle it denotes a lake or pool. 13 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . The Egyptians portrayed bodies of water by means of equally spaced vertical wave lines.html 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. Life in Egypt's desert climate depended on water. Because at night the ﬂower closes and sinks underwater.com/symlst. This is a symbol of the sun.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. of creation and rebirth.egyptartsite. A symbol of Upper Egypt She A pool of water.
Rekhyt This bird is called the Lapwing. A protector of that name. The shen also seems to be a symbol of protection. The rattle was inside the box of the naos. The seseshet had the shape of a naos temple above a Hathor head. The sistrum consisted of a wooden or metal frame ﬁtted with loose strips of metal and disks which jingled when moved. It is often seen being clutched by deities in bird form.com/symlst. It is often seen below the feet of a ruler to signify that 14 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 ." and in its elongated form became the cartouche which surrounded the king's name. See also shen. it is identiﬁed by its head crest. There are two types of sistrum. They were usually carried by women of high rank. an iba. Shenu More commonly know as a cartouche.egyptartsite. This symbol signiﬁes a group of people. The sun disk is often depicted in the center of it. Hovering over Pharaohs head with their wings outstretched in a gesture of protection. with ornamental loops on the sides. Its wings are pined back preventing it from ﬂying. The word shen comes from the word "shenu" which means "encircle.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. Sistrum The sistrum was a sacred percussion instrument used in the cult of Hathor. Horus the falcon. it symbolized eternity.html Shen A loop of rope that has no beginning and no end. was shaped in a simple loop. Mut the vulture. The shape represents a loop of rope in which a name is written. This noise was thought to attract the attention of the gods. like a closed horse-shoe with loose cross bars of metal above a Hathor head and a long handle.
" Tiet The exact origin of this symbol is unknown. and kingdom of Lower 15 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 . Uraeus The cobra is an emblem of Lower Egypt. Hathor. 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. the symbol develops human arms which are held in the act of giving praise. Udjat The sound eye of Horus. It is associated with the king. and Nut as well as with Isis." It seems to be called "the knot of Isis" because it resembles a knot used to secure the garments that the gods wore. In many respects it resembles an ankh except that its arms curve down.Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www. In all these cases it seems to represent the ideas of resurrection and eternal life. Symbolizes healing and protection.html the people are subjects of that ruler. The tiet is associated with Isis and is often called "the knot of Isis" or "the blood of Isis. As early as the Third Dynasty we ﬁnd the tiet being used as decoration when it appears with both the ankh and the djed column.egyptartsite. In the Late Period the sign was associated with the goddesses Nephthys. In the New Kingdom.com/symlst. it is often translated to mean welfare or life. Its meaning is also reminiscent of the ankh. In this form it can be interpreted to mean "a group of people giving praise. and later with the was scepter.
Egyptian Symbols and Deﬁnitions http://www.com/symlst. It is also seen being carried by kings and later by people of lesser stature in mortuary scenes 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 Egyptians believed that the cobra would spit ﬁre at any approaching enemies.egyptartsite. It is also associated with the sun and with many deities. In some tombs of the late New Kingdom whole gangs of ushabti workers were included with diﬀerent tools for doing diﬀerent work.html Egypt. The cobra represented the "ﬁery eye of Re". Starting in Middle Kingdom The uraeus appears as a symbol worn on the crown or headdress of royalty. Ushabtis Literally translated it means "to answer. The Was scepter is carried by deities as a sign of their power. in which two uraei can be seen on either side of a winged solar disk. A complete collection would consist of 401 Ushabti: one for each day of the year. It is used as a protective symbol. 365 plus 36 foreman. Was This is a symbol of power and dominion. The goddesses Nekhbet and Uazet in the form of uraeus snakes joined him at 16 di 18 19/08/2013 15:44 ." It is a small mummiform ﬁgure placed in tombs to do work in the afterlife on behalf of the deceased.
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