Stone scribal palette of Huy (Amenhotep)

New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, likely reign of Amenhot
1390–1352 B.C.


Width x thickness: 7.3 x 1.1 cm (2 7/8 x 7/16 in.) Original length (projected minimum): 43 cm (16 15/16 in.) Original length (projected maximum): 51 cm (20 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

Not On View


The Ancient World



This object is a fragmentary inscribed model scribal palette of travertine (Egyptian alabaster). The back and edges are flat and smoothed. The front face (obverse) is decorated with finely incised hieroglyphic text in four divided columns with a religious scene at top. Thirteen scattered fragments remain, some joined (and some numbered collectively).

Remnants of the top scene show the mummiform funerary god Osiris at left with the label “Osiris, great god.” To the right is a portion of the god Ptah, also shown characteristically mummiform and inside a kiosk. The extreme right of the scene (now missing) would likely have included a depiction of the owner, Huy, facing the deities in a pose of adoration. The text, though considerably broken, is clearly an offering formula/request for the deceased Huy.

True to its mimicking of functional scribal palettes, this model would have originally had two circular ink wells (one for black ink, one for red), though a small portion of only one remains. The remnants indicate that these depressions were surrounded by the shen-sign hieroglyphs (a circle of rope similar to a cartouche, which was also used on some palettes to border ink wells).


By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.
(Accession Date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way