Predynastic

The Libyan Palette

The Libyan Palette

The Libyan palette also known as Tehenu palette is the surviving lower portion of a stone cosmetic palette bearing carved decoration and hieroglyphic writing. It dates from the Naqada III or Protodynastic Period of Egypt (c. 3200 to 3000 BC). It was found at Abydos. The palette is decorated with intricate carvings and is believed...

Predynastic breccia frog

Predynastic breccia frog

Breccia cosmetic-vessel, theriomorphic, representing a frog, eyes originally inlaid, pierced lug handles and everted rim. These vessels were commonly used in ancient Egypt during the Predynastic period, which refers to the time before the establishment of the 1st Dynasty. These vessels were made from breccia, a type of rock composed of fragments of different minerals...

Predynastic figure of a woman

Predynastic figure of a woman

This figure of a woman in a shawl is dated between 3100 -2700 B.C. She stands 13.5cm high, and is a finely carved from a piece of Hippopotamus ivory. Hippopotamus ivory is harder than elephant ivory and is much more difficult to carve. The woman depicted, with hair parted in the middle, stares forth with...

The Gebelein Man also known informally as Ginger

Pre-Dynastic Mummies: The Gebelein Man “Ginger”

The Gebelein Man (British Museum. EA32751), also known informally as “Ginger” due to his red hair; is the mummy of a young Egyptian man found in Gebelein (modern Naga el-Gherira, 25 miles south of Thebes), dating from the Late Pre-Dynastic Period, c. 3400 B.C. During the period of Gebelein Man’s life and death, Egyptians were...

MacGregor Man Statuette

MacGregor Man Statuette

This polished black basalt figure of a man wearing a hood and penis sheath was once in the collection of the Rev William MacGregor, and is said to have been found in the region of Naqada. Standing man, arms by sides with hands open, palms in, legs together.  Details of eyes, eyebrows, and mouth clearly...

Double Jar in the shape of human breasts

Jar in the shape of human breasts

Polished red ware double pottery jar in the shape of human breasts: handmade, with a turned rim. There is a dark red slip on the exterior and inside the rim, and it is burnished vertically. The jar is of an unusual shape with two lobes dependent on a single neck. Death was believed to be...

The Battlefield Palette

The Battlefield Palette

The Battlefield Palette is decorated on both faces with scenes in low relief. On one face, two long-necked gazelles (gerenuk) are browsing on a central date-palm. Behind the head of one animal (on the Oxford fragment) is a bird with a hooked beak, possibly a form of guinea-fowl. The lower half of a palette of...

Naqada Jar with Painted Decoration

Naqada Jar with Painted Decoration

This Naqada jar is an artifact from Predynastic Period, the earliest period in Egyptian history. The pot was created during what is known as the Naqada II period (3500-3200 BC), long before the pyramids were built. This pot was probably made without use of a pottery wheel. The potter most likely pressed the damp clay...

Model Ship with Figurine in a Fetal Position

Model Boat with Figurine in a Fetal Position

An early example from Predynastic Egypt, is a ceramic model of a boat with a man in a fetal position, sailing to the afterlife where he will be reborn. Belief in a physical afterlife endured for thousands of years. This totemic item from predynastic Egypt shows the deceased curled up in the fetal position in...

Two Dog Palette

The Two Dog Palette

The both sides of the two dog palette are carved in low relief with scenes depicting the frenzy o an animal hunt. The imagery includes real animals, such as the pair of Cape hunting dogs that frame the top (from which the palette takes its name). They dogs are shown alongside mythical creatures, including felines...