10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ancient Egypt’s Narmer Palette

The palette highlights some of the oldest hieroglyphics found in Egypt.

King Narmer was the first king of ancient Egypt who united the country at the beginning of the first dynastic period. According to various researches and experts, the country was initially divided into two halves. One portion was known as Upper Egypt and the other Lower Egypt. Moreover, the Narmer Palette is an Egyptian ceremonial tablet and is shaped like a chevron shield, depicting the king of the First Dynasty of Egypt. The scene shows him crushing his enemies and uniting Upper and Lower Egypt.

Narmer Palette
Narmer Palette. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Here are ten interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the Narmer Palette of Ancient Egypt:

1) The palette highlights some of the oldest hieroglyphics found in Egypt (c 3200-3000 BCE). The palette is essentially a single piece of siltstone, generally used for ceremonial tablets in the First Dynastic Period of Ancient Egypt.

2) Different scenes are craved on both sides of the palette. Hence, it indicates that it was used for ceremonial purposes.

3) The Narmer Palette is intricately carved to tell the tale of King Narmer and his victories.

4) The Narmer palette is about 64 cm high. It was discovered in a deposit in Hierakonpolis, a Predynastic capital located in the South of Egypt.

5) Carved into the top scrolls on both sides of Narmer’s palette are cows with human faces, sometimes portrayed as the goddesses Bat and Hathor. Moreover, between the two is a serekh, a rectangular box enclosing hieroglyphs of the main warrior, Narmer.

6) Palettes in the olden days were generally flat, minimally decorated stone objects used for mixing minerals for cosmetics. Dark eyeliner was a fundamental aspect of life back in ancient Egypt. Also, basic cosmetic palettes were among the typical grave goods found during this early era.

7) The largest engraving on the palette is of two men entwining the serpentine necks of strange and unfamiliar beasts. No one has conclusively described what this section means. At the bottom of this side of the palette, King Narmer is portrayed as a bull breaking through the walls of a city with his horns and crushing his enemies beneath his hooves.

8) On the other side of the palette is a single image of Narmer with his war club about to strike an enemy he holds by the hair. Underneath his feet are two other men either dead or attempting to flee his rage.

9) The experts also discovered several other artefacts along with the Namer’s palette dating back to the early beginnings of Ancient Egypt.

10) The overall message of the palette is quite clear. Ancient Egyptians have used different types of imagery to show that King Namer was victorious in various battles.

All in all, the Namer palette is known as one of the oldest artefacts of Egypt. It is said that he was one of the successors of King scorpion II. However, the experts have not been able to identify a link between two monarchs as of yet. They may be able to find certain significant pieces of evidence in the future.

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