60+ Historic Egyptian Tattoo Ideas To Honor The Past

By Jason Hamilton / June 6, 2019
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Egyptians have a rich culture and history. Egyptians were among the many people who practiced ancient art. The Egyptians’ love for the ancient art is present in their structures, paintings, and even tattoos. The thing about Egyptian art is that it uses symbols that are hard to decipher which make their art even more admirable and intriguing for many people worldwide.

You can show your appreciation to Egyptian ancient art by getting Egyptian tattoos. Even if you don’t have Egyptian roots, you can still get this kind of tattoo design. You just have to remember to research the meaning of your chosen symbols or designs to avoid offending other cultures and beliefs.

One of the reasons why Egyptian tattoos are extremely popular even up to this day is because of its rich symbolic and ornate imagery. It is a challenge for most people to decipher the meaning behind Egyptian symbols because one symbol could mean two different things. This makes their art more mysterious and more intriguing.

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In this article, we will be discussing the Egyptian tattoo and the designs you can do with it. We will also share with you our carefully crafted gallery of Egyptian tattoo designs.

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Meaning of Egyptian Tattoo Designs

Egyptian tattoos and symbols are quite hard to interpret. In fact, there are still ancient symbols that artists are trying to decipher until today. The meaning of Egyptian inspired tattoos greatly vary depending on the symbols used in the design. There are tattoos that symbolize positive characteristics, while there are also other tattoo designs that connote negative meanings.

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In general, Egyptian tattoos represent divine connections. Tattoos with this meaning usually include Egyptian Gods in the overall design. Egyptians are widely known as strong believers and faithful citizens to their Gods and Goddesses.

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Here’s another excellent image of this same god. He holds an heir of authority and was thought to have quite a bit of power which is why the Egyptians revered him so much.

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Some Egyptian tattoos are for paying tribute to Gods, Goddesses, or to various Egyptian tribes. This kind of tattoo usually includes the face of the god being paid tribute to. The meaning of this tattoo leans more on the religious aspect of life. If you get this kind of tattoo, then it would automatically mean that you believe in that certain god or goddess.

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Many Egyptian tattoos serve as amulets or protection. Although there is really no concrete proof to the claims, many people still believe that when you use a certain Egyptian symbol as a tattoo, you will be spared from any harm.

The Types of Egyptian Tattoo Designs

There are several types of Egyptian Tattoos you can get today. These tattoos use both ancient and modern symbols to create a perfect masterpiece. The Egyptian artworks and symbols are quite unique because they have well-hidden meanings. Today, there are still tons of Egyptian symbols historians have yet to find out the meaning. For this reason, some people think that other forces, which may be mystical in nature, influenced the formation of Egyptian artworks.

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This is a unique coloring and excellent line work. The artist really went into detail with the overall look of this piece. The eyes are haunting and the snake is foreboding.

These colors are so eye-catching and vibrant. The beetle is extending upwards toward the sun god, Ra. This particular god held a lot of importance and significance to the ancient Egyptians.

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A beautiful art of a past Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was the ruler of ancient Egypt and is perhaps most known for being stubborn and unwilling to let the Israelites go which led to one Pharaoh in particular’s demise.

These images are so vivid. They both represent gods of the past and you can see the different animal imagery on both arms. Do you see the crosses below?

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Portraits are very difficult to do well. One misstep and the entire face is off kilter. This artist did a fantastic job capturing the alluring eyes of this female. Notice the snake that is wrapped around her head and extends under her. It’s not colored in and there is only a line drawing for it which sets it apart and gives significance to its part in the piece. The other chosen colors really make the art pop and appear lifelike.

If you want to get your very own Egyptian tattoos, then here are a few outstanding designs you can use:

The Ankh Egyptian Tattoo

This is a very simple design that is very meaningful to Egyptians. The Ankh is a Latin word that literally means “cross”. In this design, the cross has a loop, looking more like a head, instead of the usual top arm of the cross. The design is very symbolic because ancient Egyptians closely associate it with Life. Actually, this symbol is to depict the Key of Life. This is probably the reason why every Egyptian has this symbol in either one hand or both hands.

A beautifully made forearm tattoo of the Ankh.

A highly detailed forearm tattoo of the Ankh symbol.

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The Ankh tattooed on the upper back right portion of the body.

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A three-dimensional tattoo of the ankh on the upper sleeve

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A medium-sized highly detailed ankh symbol tattooed on the upper forearm.

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Egyptian Pharaoh Tattoo

This symbolic tattoo is a part of numerous generations. A pharaoh was the one who ruled ancient Egypt. A pharaoh is comparable to a king in the modern day setting. The Pharaoh has the highest authority and power during a specific era in the past. As a tattoo design, it means power and authority. Usually, the first and last Pharaohs of the land are the ones who appear in tattoo designs.

Interesting choice in not using any color here but it looks great. It really brings out the eyes in this image and the line detail is excellent. From the hat to the high cheekbones, every detail is on point.

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“Walk like an Egyptian…” Does anybody know the rest of the words to that song? This guy seems to have the walk down pretty good.

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This piece looks a bit faded probably because it’s on his hand and exposed to the elements. Initially, it was pretty intricate but it could stand to be touched up. That’s part of the deal with hand tattoos, they just have a tendency to need retouching – definitely something to take into consideration when deciding on the placement of your next job.

These are really cool splashes of blue. They make the whole piece pop. The face of this pharaoh is eyeless which hints to it being a mummy perhaps.

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Here’s another example of the artist making the piece look ancient. It’s very well done. The hat this person has on was very fashionable back in the day.

Very cool piece with excellent line work and attention to detail.  This took extensive effort by the artists and probably took a while to complete.

Ok for starters this guy looks pretty cool in his hat and the lighting here is awesome. The back of his piece is a little blurred because of the dark coloring used for the wingspan. If you look closely, you can see quite a bit of detail went into this art.

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This chest piece is pretty interesting because it seems to have a few different genres going on here. If you take a look at his arm, you’ll notice the Medusa looking figure which doesn’t seem to tie together the art as a whole. The linework is excellent but there doesn’t seem to be a rhythm here. What do you think? The skull face pharaoh obviously has some significance but the stars used aren’t from Egyptians times at all. The eye and the pyramid tie together so perhaps he’s going for an ominous, foreboding look.

The black here would have been painful because the artist would have had to go pretty deep. It’s a very dramatic image that has excellent detail. It would take a time to complete because of the degree of detail in the art here. It’s a very upfront and in your face piece. The boldness of it will definitely have onlookers asking questions and wanting to know more about it.

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Great job at trying for a 3D type image. It has a lot of different scenes and seems to be hinting at some sort of journey. The top of his shoulder has the Sphinx and then a person on a camel below. As you follow down the arm, you’ll notice more imagery that eventually ends with a woman. It’s a tale of a journey but we’re not quite sure what he’s trying to express, but regardless, we really love the different pieces. Perhaps he’s not telling a story at all. Does anyone have any input?

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The Eye of Horus Tattoo

This is by far the most famous Egyptian symbol known in almost all parts of the world. This symbol is still in movies and books, which led to its extreme popularity. Actually, there is a story about why this symbol is highly revered by Egyptians. This Eye belonged to an ancient Egyptian God named Horus. Stories say Horus lost his eye in a battle and was found somewhere after a while. Many Egyptians believed that this Eye could see everything that is bound to happen to the people of Egypt. When you use this symbol as a tattoo design, it usually means protection, power, and strength.

The cross and the eye of the sun god are very simple yet strikingly done in this piece.

An upper back tattoo of a highly detailed eye of a horus tattoo.

A large left upper back tattoo of the eye of Horus.

A fairly large sleeve tattoo of the eye of Horus.

A highly detailed and realistic eye of Horus.

The red in the eye really makes it come alive. Tender placement choice but an excellent overall piece. It’s quite large so it wouldn’t be easily hidden but it does look quite nice here.

The placement is unique and the shading is very good. There’s quite a bit of imagery and meaning here. Based on what each means, can you decipher what the artist was trying to convey? It looks like power and dominance are key components here. The usage of the black ink really intensifies the overall look of the piece.

Do men and women normally get this tattoo?

Both male and females get Egyptian tattoos because they are both masculine and feminine. The gods and goddesses of old both hold meaning to people as well as just look like awesome images. People of both sexes have been intrigued with them for decades and as you can tell from the pictures below, artists are pretty great at capturing on the canvas–your body!

This picture of hieroglyphics looks stone like and ancient.

The cat symbolizes fertility and motherhood. The feline was also honored because it caught mice and snakes in the villages which protected the people from harm. The extending feathers here took an inordinate amount of time and look fabulous.

There is so much meaning hidden within each of these images. The ancient Egyptians had a plethora of gods and goddesses that they worshiped. The images of these days are still carried out to this day in the tattoos of some people. Although each tattoo holds special significance to that particular person, it’s important to also know what the image represents historically. Which one would you choose?

This is an Anubis in the midst of hieroglyphics. This is something you might see on the inside walls of the pyramids. It looks fairly rudimentary but it actually probably took the artist quite a while to do each line with the various art.

 This detail is legit. It took a long time to do and was probably pretty painful when it hit his ribs. The artist did a great job of capturing the essence of this image. The shading and contrast are particularly well done on the wings above the snake and the eagle. It has a 3-dimensional look to it.

The green almost reminds of a leprechaun. Anybody else sees that eye on the pyramid? He’s got the Egyptian cross in his hand and the staff in his other. He looks rather authoritative here. It’s a bold tattoo because it’s quite drastic and overbearing on the sleeve of his arm.

When deciding which Egyptian tattoo is right for you, be sure to find out what your image means. If it’s something you like and think it represents who you are, then definitely get it. Even if the image doesn’t represent you, you can still get it, but just know ahead of time that people might misinterpret the meaning when they initially see it. Tattoos allow us to express ourselves on our bodies in a way that other artists cannot. Have fun exploring all the different options and images available. Creating the perfect image for yourself is a unique and creative journey. Ask your friends and family for ideas as well as your artist. Or surprise everyone and reveal it once it’s finished. The possibilities are endless!

The bold coloring really makes this Anubis look menacing. The sun looks like it’s shooting solar rays out in daggers.

The use of purple and yellow here really ties the whole piece together. It causes the central focus to zero in on the eye. The triangle looks to be a pyramid while the eye is inside of it yet the eye appears to be the focal point of the whole piece. It gives a domineering feel to the art.

This tattoo is full of symbolism. The sun means it’s protecting whatever its rays touch. The eye signifies strength and power. If you have a one dollar bill from the United States with you, take it out and take a look at it. It’s the same eye. The pyramids also signify power and authority.

Beautiful design and overall layout with this piece of art. The flowers lacking color signifies something in particular though it may be lost to everyone but the artist himself.

Other Egyptian Tattoo Designs Out There

A plethora of Egyptian tattoo designs are available for you, history buff! Here are just some of the other Egyptian tattoo designs we saw that caught our attention!

A forearm tattoo of a scarab beetle.

A sleeve tattoo of an Egyptian woman.

A highly detailed and vibrantly colored watercolor tattoo of an Egyptian god.

A sleeve tattoo of the eye of Horus.

A tattoo of Cleopatra and an Egyptian god on the forearms.

A forearm tattoo of an Egyptian hieroglyphics.

A cyberpunk tattoo of an Egyptian god inked on the forearm.

A forearm tattoo of an Egyptian pharaoh.

An Art Deco themed Egyptian tattoo on the forearm.

A highly detailed and vibrantly colored Egyptian sleeve tattoo.

A highly detailed and vibrantly colored Egyptian tattoo.

A three-fourths sleeves tattoo of a scarab beetle with Polynesian detailing.

A highly detailed and fairly large tattoo of an Ankh.

A New School style Egyptian tattoo with UFOs.

A large sleeve tattoo of a skull in Pharaoh clothing.

A colorful tattoo of two Egyptian gods on each foot.

A highly detailed sternum tattoo of a scarab beetle.

A forearm tattoo of an Egyptian pharaoh.

A darkly-detailed sleeve tattoo of an Egyptian god.

A highly detailed modern Egyptian tattoo on the leg.

A large Egyptian back tattoo.

A large and significantly detailed upper back tattoo of an Egyptian motif.

A highly detailed upper sleeve tattoo with sketch-like detailing.

A small but highly detailed wrist tattoo of the eye of Horus.

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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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