Pencase - 909.80.511_3



Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
23.8 x 3.65 cm
Object number: 909.80.511
Not on view

An ancient Egyptian scribe carried a pen-case or scribal palette with him as a sign of his profession as well as a tool of his trade.  In the rectangular space, he would put a few reed pens.  Black and red ink would be carried in the tiny depressions at one end.  A small pot for water completed the ensemble, a drawing of which was the hieroglyph for ‘scribe’ and for writing. 

This very simple wooden pen-case looks like it would have served for every day use as the scribe went about his business, taking account of offerings, construction materials, manpower, or produce.  It would have been light and easy to carry, unlike some of the fancier scribal palettes that have been found, with prayers or other inscriptions on them.

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