Ovoid palette

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


Findspot: Egypt, Zawyet el-Aryan, Grave Z 133

Dimensions

Height x width x thickness: 18.5 x 15.8 x 1 cm (7 5/16 x 6 1/4 x 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

11.2497

Medium or Technique

Greywacke

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Cosmetic and medical

The outer edge of this ovoid palette of greywacke is decorated with an incised, single-line border with additional short lines in a saw-tooth/chevron pattern. One surface of the palette has been worn slightly concave from 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 133 (Z/133/3). 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