CookiesThis site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read our privacy policy to learn more
World of the Pharaohs: Egyptian Tattoos

World of the Pharaohs: Egyptian Tattoos

Tattoo Ideas1 min Read

Egypt is a land of magic and mystery; it's inspired many things including these beautiful Egyptian tattoos.

Since the dawn of modern civilization, we have been absolutely obsessed with Egypt. There is even a word to describe this fascination with the ancient culture and history of Egypt; those who study this field are called Egyptologists. And while you may immediately think that Egyptologists were mainly stuffy British explorers with funny pants and colonialist views, the first Egyptologists were actually the Egyptians themselves. Thutmose IV restored the Great Sphinx of Giza, which you can still enjoy today, and less than two centuries later the fourth son of Ramses II also restored many historic buildings that were later carefully excavated. Do you think they knew that their work, and their culture would later inspire so many Egyptian tattoos?

Perhaps they actually may have been aware, as Egyptians were also tattooed. Two mummies found in the Gebelein area are some of the first examples of tattooed people. They date back about 3,000 BC, and unlike Otzi, who only has geometric tribal tattoos, the Egyptian pair have the first known examples of figurative tattoos. These Egyptian tattoos sported images of a wild bull, sheep, and a staff. Really, it makes sense considering part of what is so fascinating about Egyptian culture is their visual language. Many Egyptian tattoos sport hieroglyphs, the ancient Egyptian alphabet that must've taken forever to interpret. There are books about it, however, if you'd like to learn what all these fascinating symbols mean!

And although we at Tattoodo do believe you need to be respectful of what cultures you appropriate for your tattoos, as long as it's done with honorable and authentic expression, as well as understanding, we think that these Egyptian tattoos would've filled ancient Egyptians with glee. To think that their culture has continued long after they are gone, and inspired so many people across the globe, is incredible!

Written byTattoodo

A curated collection of counter culture. Featuring the world's top artists. Show us yours.

Find tattoo artists and tattoo shops in top cities