Disc-shaped palette

Egyptian
Predynastic Period, Dynasty 0
3100–2960 B.C.


Dimensions

Diameter x thickness: 10 x 0.6 cm (3 15/16 x 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

03.1485

Medium or Technique

Greywacke

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Cosmetic and medical

This is a disc-shaped palette of greywacke. It has been decorated with a border of short, perpendicular incised lines/notches around the circumference. Some possible signs of slight wear (smoothing) appear near the center.

Stone palettes are identified particularly with earlier periods of ancient Egyptian history. Non-functional (in the utilitarian sense), often elaborately decorated “ceremonial” examples are known. Often simpler, functional examples were used to grind and mix mineral-based pigments (including ocher, malachite, hematite) that were often mixed with other substances to make cosmetics or other decorative media.

Provenance

Said to be from Naqada. 1903: purchased for the MFA from Mohamed Mohassib, Luxor, Egypt by Albert M. Lythgoe as part of a group (03.1474-03.1490) for £4. Acquired with funds from the Emily Esther Sears Fund. (Accession Date: January 1, 1903)

Credit Line

Emily Esther Sears Fund