Ancient Man and His First Civilizations


Egyptian Palettes and Stele


Stele or plural: stelae, is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerary or commemorative purposes. It is often inscribed, carved in relief or painted onto the slab. Stelae were also used as territorial markers and to commemorate military victories. They were widely used in all the ancient civilizations.
In Egypt, commemorative palettes were typically used for grinding cosmetics - note the circular sunken center, but the ones displayed here are too large and heavy to have been for personal use, they were likely votive temple objects, perhaps to grind cosmetics to adorn the gods. The subject matter carved or inscribed on palettes was the same as on stele.

Click on the picture to see an enlarged picture and an interpretation of the objects meaning.

The Narmer Palette

Closeup of 2nd register

The Narmer Palette (back)

Scorpion Macehead

Queen Nefretiti stele

The Horus Cippus

King Khasekhemwy Statue

The Black Cippus


The Bull Palette

The Bull Palette (back)

Dogs Palette front

Dogs Palette back


Gebel Knife

Flint Knife

Battlefield Palette

Battlefield Palette (back)

Rosetta Stone

Palermo stone

The Hunters Palette

The Hyenas Palette

Archery Case

The Towns Palette

The Towns Palette (back)

MacGregor Man