50+ Anubis Tattoos for the History Buffs

By Jason Hamilton / May 18, 2020
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Ancient Egyptian culture is really fascinating, especially their art of tattooing. They are the first known culture to have tattoos. They are the first to use multiple symbols for tattoos with specific meanings as well. And one of such symbols is what we’re going to get to know in this article, the Anubis tattoos.

Ancient Egyptians’ god and goddesses

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Who is Anubis?

In case you aren’t much familiar with the ancient Egyptian culture yet, Anubis is one of ancient Egyptians’ gods. He is known as the god of death, embalming, mummification, the afterlife, tombs, cemeteries, as well as the underworld. He plays an important role in the ancient Egyptian culture as the legends say that is the one who will decide a person’s fate in the afterlife in the underworld. With the help of the moon god, Thoth, the legend says Anubis weighs the hearts of those who were already dead on the scales of justice against the feather of Ma’at, the god of Justice, in the underworld. If one’s heart is as light as the feather, he or she can enter the afterlife. However, if the heart is heavier than the feather, Ammit, the demoness of punishment, would gobble up the heart. And if so, the person undergoing judgment would not be allowed to continue his or her voyage towards immortality and Osiris.

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A Closer Look at Anubis

With a number of gods and goddesses ancient Egypt has, it might a bit confusing to tell who is who. But here’s what you should know about Anubis’ looks: he has the head of a jackal or dog with long, alert ears and a pointed muzzle and has a body of a man. His body is colored black that symbolizes death, the color of rotting flesh, the night, and the underworld. He is also often depicted wearing a ribbon and holding a flail or nḫ3ḫ3 in the crook of his arm.

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How ancient Egyptians depict Anubis

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A depiction of the last judgment of Hunefer where Anubis is weighing the heart

Anubis has a unique look, compared to other usual gods and goddesses we may have known which makes him a nice tattoo. But did you know that he also symbolizes more than just death and anything related to the afterlife which makes him an even better body art? Read on to know what his symbol mean when used as a tattoo.

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Anubis as Tattoo (Meaning)

Other people may see him like some god who is a bit scary because he is associated with death; and for many of us, we often equate death to negative feelings. But there are also some good meanings that identify with him. Apparently, Anubis also symbolizes the optimistic side of death. He represents peace, protection, and respect that come with death. And you can also enhance these meanings and/or aesthetics if you pair it with other ancient Egyptian symbols.

Design Ideas for Anubis Tattoos

Anubis’ Head

If you want a simpler Anubis tattoo, you can opt to only have his head inked on your body. This design will also give you more opportunities to add more expression on his face if you want to and/or make the tattoo more realistic. Here are some samples of Anubis’ head tattoo.

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Anubis’ head giving with tribal details

A colorful tattoo of Anubis’ head drawn sideways

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Anubis’ head tattooed in solid black in

Anubis’ head inked in red gold, blue, and black ink paired with the Eye of Ra

Anubis with Skull

Skull tattoos are also associated with death and mortality making it an even more perfect match for Anubis tattoos. However, skulls aren’t just morbid; they can also stand for positive things like protecting valuables and even overcoming obstacles. Here are some ideas on how you can combine an Anubis tattoo with skulls.

A dotwork tattoo of Anubis’ head with a skull on top

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A half skull face tattoo of Anubis

A gorgeous tattoo of Anubis’ head with skulls and pyramid

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Anubis’ head paired with skill and an ankh

Anubis with Scale

Because of Anubis’ job – you know, all that weighing stuff – you can also add a balance scale to your tattoo to fully depict his main job in the underworld. Here are some inspirations for that.

Anubis carrying the Scale of Justice on his shoulders

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A tattoo of Anubis’ head paired with a scale made of a tree branch

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Anubis carrying a scale on his left hand and an ankh on his right

A tattoo of Anubis paired with the Scale of Justice and other ancient Egyptian symbols

Anubis with Ankh

An ankh is just like a cross but it has an oval loop in place of an upper bar. And this represents life for ancient Egyptians. In addition to that, it is also related to love and eternity. Here are some ideas on how you can add an ankh to your Anubis tattoo.

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Anubis holding a crook on his left arm and an ankh on his right

Anubis with an ankh pendant

Anubis wearing a daunting angry expression paired with a huge ankh

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Bastet and Anubis with an ankh in the middle

Anubis with Pyramid

The pyramid also makes a nice addition to Anubis tattoos because these two, needless to say, symbolize ancient Egypt. But aside from that, this awe-inspiring man-made structure also represents endurance, strength, as well as our place in eternity.

Anubis paired with a realistic Eye of Ra, sphynx, pyramid, a crook, and moon tattoo designs

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Anubis holding an ankh with pyramids and skulls

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Pyramids drawn under an Anubis tattoo

A realistic tattoo of Anubis’ head with a pyramid, Eye of Ra, maze, and sun tattoo designs

Anubis Tattoos Placement

There’s actually no specific placement for Anubis tattoos but these placements might enhance your body’s aesthetics.

Back

Anubis paired with various ancient Egyptian symbols tattooed on the upper left portion of the back

A tattoo of Anubis with a unique expression covering the whole back area

Anubis holding a crook inked on the upper left portion of the back

An outline back tattoo of Anubis and basted facing each other as they hold an ankh plus an Eye of Ra at the center

Chest

An amazing gray ink tattoo of Anubis placed on the right side of the chest almost reaching the shoulder

A huge tattoo of Anubis’ head with a fierce expression inked at the center of the chest

Another tattoo of Anubis holding a crook inked on the upper right part of the chest

Anubis’ head tattooed on the upper left side of the chest

Upper Arm

 

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A unique tattoo of Anubis holding a sword placed on the upper part of the right arm

A combination of Anubis, skull, pyramid, and camels tattoos covering the whole upper part of the left arm

A colorful tattoo of Anubis on a bended knee holding a flail

A tattoo of Anubis paired with a snake tattoo with added geometric tattoo

Forearm

A sketch style tattoo of Anubis on the right forearm

A trash polka tattoo of Anubis and Eye of Ra placed on the right forearm

An Anubis tattoo paired with an ankh made with realistic details placed on the left forearm

A tattoo of Anubis paired with the Eye of Ra and Thot

Calf

A side view of Anubis standing as he holds his crook

A tattoo combination of Anubis, ankh, the pyramid, sun, and a scarab covering the whole calf

A unique tattoo of Anubis where his skull shows

A unique dotwork tattoo of Anubis holding a heart, showing what his role is in the ancient Egyptian mythology

Another intricately detailed tattoo of Anubis with a saqqara bird with added geometric and lace details

Thigh

A side view of Anubis paired with the Eye of Ra with added realistic details that make it look like it’s inked on a rock or wall

An intricately detailed tattoo of Anubis’ head on the left thigh paired with a skull tattoo of a pharaoh on the other thigh

A dotwork tattoo of Anubis’ head with a skull, scale of justice, and ankh

Hand

Anubis holding a flail and crook tattooed on the left hand

Anubis’ head paired with a flail and crook inked on the back of the right hand

A realistic tattoo of Anubis holding a flail and crook inked at the back of the left hand

Another tattoo of Anubis holding flail and crook but is larger than the previous ones as it reaches up to the wrist

Anubis tattoos are cool and meaningful. On top of that, it is also a bit mysterious as not everyone is familiar with the ancient Egyptian mythology, making it an even better idea for a tattoo. It’s one of the top symbols from the ancient Egyptian culture that you might want to consider having as a tattoo.


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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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