List of ancient Egyptian palettes

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The Four Dogs Palette, Room 20 of the Louvre.

A list of ancient Egyptian palettes, ranging in the Naqada periods, 4th millennium BC, probably mostly from ~3500 to 3000 BC; some palettes may be from the later period of the earliest 3rd millennium BC.

These cosmetic palettes come in numerous shapes and sizes, and were often found in tombs or graves. They were preceded by a period of palettes called rhomboidal palettes, unadorned, and without the cosmetic mixing circle found on some of the later Naqada period palettes.

Alphabetical individual listing, (abbreviated)[edit]

List of ancient Egyptian Predynastic palettes[edit]

Name Dimensions Location Notes + Topic
Battlefield Palette
Vultures Palette, etc.
Full Height?
50 x 32 cm-(?)
(20 x 13 in)
British Museum Side A: war; Side B: peace
('Order vs Chaos')
Bull Palette Louvre
Gerzeh Palette Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Hunters Palette 30.5 x 15 cm
(12 x 6 in)
British Museum (smaller fragment in Louvre)
Libyan Palette (original, approximated:
70 x 25 cm)
(ht x width)
Egyptian Museum, Cairo (surviving dimensions:
~18.5 x ~21 cm,
(7 x 8 in))
(ht x width)
Min Palette
El Amrah Palette
Narmer Palette
Great Hierakonpolis Palette
64 x 42 cm
(25 x 17 in)
Egyptian Museum in Cairo[6] Unification of Southern Egypt, Delta Egypt, (Upper and Lower Egypt)

Shield-shape palettes[edit]

A list of shield-shaped palettes; the majority are vertically oriented. (The Hunters Palette is an example of a horizontally-oriented palette.)

Name Dimensions Location <-->
Form
Notes + Topic
"Two-bird heads
palette (Brooklyn)"
[7]
22.5 x 11.8 cm
(8.8 x 4.6 in)
Brooklyn Museum, USA
V38
Unadorned palette, Shield-shaped, with 2-opposed-Bird-Heads
Four Dogs Palette
Giraffes Palette
Louvre Palette
Louvre
V38
Obverse:Four canines and other animals, w/cosmetic circle
"Duck, trussed"
Trussed-Goose Palette-
G54
British Museum
V38
Hunters Palette (horizontally– –oriented)
30.5 x 15 cm
(12 x 6 in)
British Museum
N20
(smaller fragment in Louvre)
Manshiyet el Ezzat Palette (Broken top)
23.5 to 27 x 12 cm,
(9-10 x 5 in)
(ht x width)
V38
Discovered in a tomb, dated to Pharaoh Den's reign
Cosmetic Circle: two confronted lions with intertwined necks, (as on the Narmer Palette).
Min Palette
El Amrah Palette
V38
The only adornment is a "typographic ligature" style combination of the archaic "Min symbol"
R23
with the hieroglyph for "crook-staff"
S39

(1/4 of palette face)
Narmer Palette
Great Hierakonpolis Palette
64 x 42 cm
(25 x 17 in)
Louvre
V38
Unification of Southern Egypt, Delta Egypt, (Upper and Lower Egypt)
Oxford Palette
Minor Hierakonpolis Dogs Palette
"Ashmolean Palette"
"Two Dog Palette"[8]
42 x 22 cm
(17 x 9 in)
Ashmolean Museum, no. E3294
V38
greywacke, ca. 3150 BC
2-Lions, necks framing a mixing circle, and necks in wave-motion-(3-cycles); both lions are licking a gazelle, (as a newborn, or young)[9]

Zoomorphic palettes[edit]

A list of zoomorphic, or animal style Egyptian palettes.

Name Dimensions Location Notes + Topic
"Anchor Palette"
("Double Bird (Pelta) Palette")
Pelta? Anchor-shaped, double outward facing bird-heads
Bird (Louvre)
(a goose)
Louvre Naqada IId-IIIc
"El Ahaiwah Dog Palette" from El Ahaiwah- (El Ahaiwah)
"Duck, trussed"
Trussed-Goose Palette-
G54
British Museum portrayed later in hieroglyphs as G54, a 'trussed goose'
Elephant palette (length-(horizontal):
~20.5 cm, (~8 in)[10]
Egyptian Museum, Berlin
Geese Palette (broken palette)
14.5 x 11.5 cm
(6 x 5 in)
British Museum, 32074 schist
remainder piece has large, entire cosmetic circle, 2 small confronted geese below
Barbary Goat palette British Museum
Turtle Palette
{circular)
Louvre Circular shape
with small turtle appendages
Turtle Palette no. 2[11]
{circular)
Egyptian Museum, Berlin Circular shape
with small turtle appendages

Bird palettes[edit]

Name Dimensions Location <-->
Form
Notes + Topic
Bird (Louvre)
(a goose)
Louvre
G42
Naqada IId-IIIc
goose, seated-(at rest)
"Duck, trussed"
Trussed-Goose
Palette-
G54
British Museum
V38

G54
"Two-bird heads
palette (Brooklyn)"
[12]
22.5 x 11.8 cm
(8.8 x 4.6 in)
Brooklyn Museum, USA
V38

H1 H1
Unadorned palette, Shield-shaped, with 2-opposed-Bird-Heads
Guinea Fowl Palette[13] 28.5 x 19 cm
(11.3 x 7.5 in)
Brooklyn Museum, USA ? Guinea Fowl shape, Naqada II, (with small inlaid white eye)

Miscellaneous palettes, fragments[edit]

Name Dimensions Location <-->
Form
Notes + Topic
Min Antelope Palette
N33
(Naqada IId-IIIc)
circular with suspension hole, inscribed with antelope, 1/3 of face
"Ka Palette (no. 1)" ?
Q3
D28
,
Ka hieroglyph-shaped plate
large vertical offering-style plate (see the Hotep-style plates, and the Ancient Egyptian offering formula)[14]
"Ka Palette (no. 2)" ?
Q3
D28
,
Ka hieroglyph-shaped plate
plus Ankh, Papyrus, and U3S-staff
S34
,
M13
,
S40

Egyptian hieroglyphs and the palette's corpus[edit]

A list of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the individual palettes.

Gerzeh Palette[edit]

The Gerzeh Palette, or "Hathor Palette", "Cow-Head Palette" has topics containing 5-stars, a pair of horns, and a stylized "head". The hieroglyphs are:
N14
,
F13
, and possibly a relation to
Y8
, Hathor-sistrum, (the shape of the cow's head, as on the Narmer Palette), and
R20

.

Min Palette[edit]

The only adornment is a "typographic ligature" style combination of the archaic "Min symbol"--
R23
with the hieroglyph for "crook-staff"--
S39

(1/4 of palette face)

Galleries[edit]

Zoomorphic gallery[edit]

Miscellaneous pallettes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2-Bird-heads Palette, Egyptian Galleries,, 3rd floor, Brooklyn Museum [1]
  2. ^ Wikimedia Commons: Bird-resting, (on its feet)
  3. ^ Wikimedia Commons: Fish, (dolphin-type), Louvre
  4. ^ Vicroria Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Bulti Fish-shaped cosmetic palette, [2]
  5. ^ Egypt, The World of the Pharaohs, Turtle Palette, (circular, small appendages) p 18.
  6. ^ http://www.usask.ca/antiquities/collection/egyptian/narmer.html
  7. ^ 2-Bird-heads Palette, Egyptian Galleries,, 3rd floor, Brooklyn Museum [3]
  8. ^ Patch, Diana (29 May 2012). Dawn of Egyptian Art. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 139. ISBN 978-0300179521. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  9. ^ Egypt, The World of the Pharaohs, "Ceremonial palette, Hierakonpolis", p 27.
  10. ^ Schulz, Seidel, Egypt, The World of the Pharaohs, Chapter 1, Egypt's Path to Advanced Civilization, p. 18, 3 palettes of: 1-elephant, 2-hippopotamus, 3-turtle.
  11. ^ Egypt, The World of the Pharaohs, Turtle Palette, (circular, small appendages) p 18.
  12. ^ 2-Bird-heads Palette, Egyptian Galleries,, 3rd floor, Brooklyn Museum [4]
  13. ^ Guinea Fowl Palette, Egyptian Galleries,, 3rd floor, Brooklyn Museum [5]
  14. ^ Wikimedia Commons, Hotep offering tables
  • Schulz, Regine; Seidel, Matthias eds.; Egypt, The World of the Pharaohs, (w/ 34 contributing Authors), Konemann, Germany, c 1998, (538 pp), (hardcover, ISBN 3-89508-913-3).

External links[edit]