Fragment of rectangular palette

Egyptian
Early Dynastic Period, Dynasty 2
possibly 2750–2649 B.C.


Findspot: Egypt, Zawyet el-Aryan, Grave Z 101/2

Dimensions

Length x width: 18.5 x 17 cm (7 5/16 x 6 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.2499

Medium or Technique

Greywacke

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Cosmetic and medical

This is a large, almost square fragment of an originally rectangular greywacke palette. One edge is pierced with a hole for suspension. Both flat surfaces have depressions, while one face has red and black stains in the central area, all signs of use.

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, grave Z 101. 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