Miniature palette in shape of a bird - 909.34.26_1


Miniature palette in shape of a bird

Geography: Undetermined site, Upper Egypt
Date: c. 3500-3000 BC
Period: Naqada II-III Period, Predynastic Period
4.6 x 1.91 cm
Object number: 909.34.26
Not on view

Miniature palette made of greywacke, a dark green-black stone, similar to slate, which is found in the Wadi Hammamat area of the eastern desert in Egypt. This miniature palette is too small to be functional for grinding pigments, so presumably had a symbolic use similar to a tag. It  would have been found in a grave. In the Naqada I Period palettes were mostly rhomboidal in shape, but in the succeeding Naqada II & II Periods animal forms proliferated. The palette is in the shape of the silhoutte of a bird, presumably a falcon. It has two flat sides with a depth of c. 2 mm. The bird shape consists of a squarish body topped by a long neck with a curving head and beak. A 2mm wide circular perforation forms the eye of the bird. A base area is marked by a notch on either side, presumably indicating the feet.

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