Rubbing stone

Predynastic Period, Naqada I–Dynasty 2
2750–2649 B.C., or earlier


Height x width x thickness: 8.2 x 2 x 0.5 cm (3 1/4 x 13/16 x 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

This rubbing stone of greywacke has long, thin proportions (about the size of a finger). There is a small chip or imperfection on one side.

Rubbing stones were used in the crafting process to apply a polished or burnished treatment to a surface. Sometimes a scribe employed them for smoothing purposes.


Said to be from Naqada. 1903: purchased for the MFA from Mohamed Mohassib, Luxor, Egypt by Albert M. Lythgoe as part of a group (03.1472-03.1473, 03.1495-03.1496, 03.1506) for 12 shillings. Acquired with funds from the Emily Esther Sears Fund. (Accession Date: January 1, 1903)

Credit Line

Emily Esther Sears Fund