Rectangular palette

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


Findspot: Egypt, Zawyet el-Aryan, Grave Z 116

Dimensions

Length x width: 16.3 x 13.7 cm (6 7/16 x 5 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

11.2494

Medium or Technique

Greywacke

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Cosmetic and medical

This rectangular palette of greywacke has an incised triple-line border around its perimeter. It has been mended from a break, and one small fragment is missing. The surface of the stone is lightly abraded and stained red in some areas.

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 116. 1911: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt.
(Accession Date: October 19, 1911)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition