H.R Giger's Egyptian Mysteries

leading from
 H.R Giger's Black Room, Egyptian Burial chamber,
on the third floor of his parents' house at Storchengrasse 17, Chur, 

1958 (source,  WWW.HRGIGER.COM (book) p9)
a) H. R. Giger in his artwork has often used ancient Egyptian themes and ideas, and some of these he brought into the concept work for Alien, many of which can be found as illustrations in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.  

b) When he was about six years, every Sunday he went to the civic museum in Chur and in the basement with the amputated hands and feet they kept a beautiful mummified body of what he believed was an Egyptian princess and her sarcophagus.

c) His keen interest in such Egyptian imagery can be seen on the decorations of the wall of his black room (above) where he used to hold parties and play with his band as a teenager. In the centre of the photo is an image of the God Ra holding a was-sceptre.

d) The way he did his portraits Giger consider typically Egyptian as well, in the way they presented a view from from the side and the front. So the Egyptian style was something that he considered part of his way of expressing through art. 

Giger visited the mummy at the Rätisches Museum in Chur as a child, face his fears of it and came to be inspired.

In the final design for the Space Jockey, Giger was able to incorporate elements of the Henu Barque of Seker./Sokar  


In his work for the Alien Life Cycle Hieroglyphic tableau, he incorporated the image of the Goddess Nut.  

In his early design for the Facehugger, he incorporated the idea a pair of pliers in the creatures mouth to open it's victim's mouth up inspired by the idea of tools used for opening the jaws of the mummy up to allow the soul into the body for the reanimation rite

Giger's painting Necronom IV which became starting point for the final adult alien creature, but where did the idea for the thing spring from. While it's composed of ideas that he developed over time, one can see that it incorporates elements from depictions of the ancient Egyptian embalming ritual images.
Aker or Ruti, the god in the form of two lions
The strange rounded shoulder of the Necronom IV displays a likeness to those in the Ancient Egyptian's depictions of lions. 


Giger's Necronom IV backpipes when the painting is flipped over become the upper eyeline and eyebrow of the eye of Horus. 


The general form of the head of the Necronom IV looks inspired by the general form of the stylised head of a was-sceptre. The was-sceptre in the photo, now to be found at the Victorian and Albert museum resembles Giger's initial design for the derelict ship's hammer head.


This second concept design for the Alien stage 3 beast appears to have goggles. Was it inspired by Egyptian depictions of lotus blossoms? 

Was the initial derelict concept inspired by the Solar Barge of Egyptian mythology and does it just naturally loosely merge with the concept of a "Barge of a million years".

Was the Egyptian scarab as book of the dead imagery and jewelry the foundations of Necronom II?


Looking for signs of the variations of Bes in the details


Necronom II directly references the Desert Glass pectoral which as a piece has inspired many artists and designers over the decade and so the Desert Glass Pectoral creeps in transformed way into a number visually famous pieces.

 Is Eliphas Levi's Baphomet partly inspired by the ancient Egyptian Sema-Tawy?

source quotes
  1. Vincent Castiglia- - Co uważasz za źródło największej inspiracji?
    HR Giger- Starożytnych Egipcjan. Gdy miałem ok. 6 lat, co niedzielę chodziłem do muzeum w Chur. W piwnicy trzymali tam piękną mumię. Miała stary zapach i to mnie fascynowało. Później, gdy zacząłem rysować i używać airbrush, tamto wspomnienie było dla mnie dużą inspiracją. Potem postarałem się, aby na mojej wystawie w muzeum w Chur była mumia egipskiej księżniczki i jej sarkofag. W ten sposób chciałem ludziom pokazać, co mnie inspiruje. W sztuce egipskiej jest dużo śmierci – w mumiach, czaszkach etc. W mojej twórczości też. Poza tym sposób, w jaki robię portrety jest typowo egipski – przedstawiam widok od przodu i z boku (Tatuaz #28, May 2008)
    Google Translation-

    Vincent Castiglia--What do you think is the biggest source of inspiration?
    HR Giger
    -- Ancient Egyptians. When I was about six years, every Sunday I went to the museum in Chur. In the basement there kept beautiful mummy. She had an old smell, and it fascinated me. Later, when I started to draw and use the airbrush, those memories for me was a big inspiration. Then I tried to make on my show in museum in Chur was the mummy of an Egyptian princess and her sarcophagus. In this way, I wanted to show people what inspires me. In Egyptian art is a lot of death - in mummies, skulls etc.. In my work, too. Besides, the way I'm doing portraits is typically Egyptian - present the view from the front and side (Tatuaz #28, May 2008) 
  2. Vincent Castiglia--Co byś poradził artystom szukającym własnych środków wyrazu? HR Giger-- W dzisiejszych czasach jest o wiele trudniej znaleźć swój własny styl jako artysta. Wydaje się, że każdy styl, każden punkt widzenia w sztuce został już przez kogoś zutylizowany. Gdy byłem młodszy, nie było telewizji ani internetu. Dzisiaj media propagują i rozpowszechniają wszystko. Już nie ma co odkrywać. Ja sam np. zaadoptowałem styl egipski i nie wiem, co innym pozostało?! Wszystko już było. W komputerze i w sieci są pewnie możliwości odkrycia czegoś nowego i znalezienia innych stylów. Ja nie mam pojęcia o komputerach, więc może ktoś inny coś tam nowego wypatrzy. (Tatuaz #28, May 2008) Google Translation-
    Vincent Castiglia- - - What would be your advice to artists looking for their own means of expression?
    -HR Giger- Nowadays, it is much harder to find your own style as an artist. It seems that every style, every point of view in art has already been disposed of by someone. When I was younger, there was no television or Internet. Today, the media promote and disseminate all. Already there is nothing to discover. I myself, for example, I adopted Egyptian style and do not know what else is left? Everything has been done. The computer and the network is probably the ability to discover something new and find other styles. I do not have a clue about computers, so maybe someone else will spot something new. (Tatuaz #28, May 2008)


  1. I was interested to read that HR Giger was inspired by an egyptian mummy so I sought out who exactly it was (if it was a significant royal or person in life) It is the "Ta-di-Isis, Rätisches Museum Chur"


    1. Okay, this is good that you know about it. There's a link to my findings on the matter "i) The Egyptian mummy at the Rhaetian museum" and here is the link anyway http://alienexplorations.blogspot.co.uk/1974/08/biomechanoid-iii-1974-memories-of-mummy.html