Rectangular palette

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

Object Place: Egypt, Quft


Length x width x thickness: 7.8 x 10 x 0.8 cm (3 1/16 x 3 15/16 x 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

Rectangular palette of dark gray stone. Incised double-line border line on one face. Possible signs of wear. Excellent condition.

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 issue: Exp.Ph. # and 1947 Harvard Camp history look more like Reisner/Hearst Expedition than Lythgoe purchase. Needs clarification?]

From Quft. Exp.Ph. O.S. C 1822
Purchased by Albert M. Lythgoe in Egypt; January, 1901 for the MFA. Brought from Harvard Camp in 1947

Credit Line

Brought from Harvard Camp