Rectangular palette

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


Findspot: Egypt, Zawyet el-Aryan, Grave Z 133/2

Dimensions

Height x width x thickness: 14.4 x 12.1 x 0.9 cm (5 11/16 x 4 3/4 x 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

11.2495

Medium or Technique

Greywacke

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Cosmetic and medical

This greywacke palette is of generally rectangular dimensions with a slight taper to the longer sides. One face decorated with an incised double-line border. One side has a depression, some scrapes, and reddish staining from use. It is intact.

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. 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