Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Predynastic case
Object Type
Implements and utensils, Cosmetic and medical equipment and implements, Palette
Predynastic Period
Neolithic Culture
Stone/minerals (Diorite)
Egypt, el-Kab
Length: 192mm | Width: 118mm | Depth: 17mm
Number of Elements

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A diorite palette. An inscription in black ink starts 'Mon P....'. It is Neolithic to Predynastic in date and was purchased by Wellcome at auction in 1923. Hard stone palettes such as these made of stones other than greywacke may sometimes be earlier in date than the greywacke ones. They have been found in both Nubia and in Egypt. Examples have been found at Naqada and Gerzeh which Petrie dated as probably Early Dynastic (Petrie 1920, 39-40). One also comes from Morgan's excavations at el Masa'id dated to Naqada III (Needler 1984, 319, 326). Petrie and Needler believed that examples found in Egypt originated in Nubia and indeed there seem to have been strong contacts between the A-Group Nubian culture and Predynastic Egypt. Hardstone palettes are found in Nubian A-Group burials (Nordström 1972, pl. 191) dated 3700-3250 BCE. A Nubian grave in Kadruka dated to c 6000-6500 BCE contained a diorite palette with the remains of an adult male (Pardo Mata 2004, 140).

Last modified: 23 Dec 2021

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