Fragment of rectangular palette

Egyptian
Early Dynastic Period, Dynasty 1
2960–2770 B.C.


Findspot: Egypt, Zawyet el-Aryan, Tomb Z 34

Dimensions

height x width (overall): 8.5 x 6.3 cm (3 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.) Thickness (finished edge): 1.1 cm (7/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.2536

Medium or Technique

Greywacke

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Cosmetic and medical

This is a fragment of (likely) rectangular palette of greywacke with two parallel incised lines along the remaining finished edge as a border. The original dimensions unclear from remaining fragment.

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

From Zawyet el-Aryan, Tomb Z 34. 1911: Excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt.
(Accession Date: October 19, 1911)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition