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Narmer Palette

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Narmer Palette
Sizec. 64 cm × 42 cm
Created3200–3000 BC (circa)
Present locationEgyptian Museum, Cairo
IdentificationCG 14716

Cosmetic palettes were used for mixing antimony (as eye shadow), in the Old Kingdom of Egypt. These palettes were made in the earliest days of history, before the pharaohs.

Narmer Palette - the two serpopards' necks make the basin for mixing antimony.

The Narmer Palette, or the Great Hierakonpolis Palette, is a significant Egyptian archaeological find. It dates from about the 31st century BC. It is a cosmetic palette.

The palette has some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. The tablet is thought by some to show the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the king Narmer. It is one of the earliest known depictions of an Egyptian king. On one side, the king wears the bulbed White Crown of Upper (southern) Egypt. The other side shows the king wears the level Red Crown of Lower (northern) Egypt. The palette is also the earliest known example of a king wearing both types of headdress.[1]


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  1. Friedman, Renée. “City of the Hawk.” Archaeology, vol. 56, no. 6, 2003, pp. 50–56. Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.
  • O’Connor, David 2002. Context, function and program: understanding ceremonial slate palettes. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 39: 5–25.

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