Narmer Palette Essay

Submitted By mz_AnnBaNN
Words: 1590
Pages: 7

The First Historical Document in the World

By: Ann Zachariah

Main Point: The historic object with vague scenes has been very hard to interpret by historians but, it shows the union of Upper and Lower Egypt, which indicated the early development of a civilized era.
I. Body Paragraph 1:
Opening Sentence: Brief History of the palette
Detail 1: Discovery and the capital it was found
Detail 2:Location and description
Detail 3:Purpose of the palette
Detail 4: Other artifacts found with the narmer palette
II. Body Paragraph 2:
Transition/Opening Sentence: Glyphs decoded
Detail 1: Narmer’s description towards the enemy
Detail 2:The horus, the sandal bearer, harpoon, and papyrus
Detail 3:Symbolism of the cow’s horn
III. Body Paragraph 3:
Transition/Opening Sentence: Glyphs decoded on the opposite side
Detail 1:The procession and the decapitated bodies
Detail 2:Authority of Narmer with both lands
Detail 3:Bull striking the city walls
IV. Body Paragraph 4:
Transition/Opening Sentence: Overall meaning of the palette
Detail 1: Narmer as an important figure
Detail 2: White & Red Crown
Detail 3: Showing a ritual purpose
V. Conclusion The palette has a social, political, intellectual, and a cultural meaning behind it.

Ann Zachariah
Hum 120- 001
Prof. Beth Turk
The First Historical Document in the World As Egypt cultivated and succeeded to a great and wealthy nation, it left behind many evidences and artifacts of a well-known society. Some works of arts were such a dynamic significance to our understanding and appreciation for its culture which remained unchanged for over 3000 years. Many proofs like Tutankhanmun’s golden mask, Khufu’s statue, and also Nefertiti bust are some of the most distinguished works of ancient Egyptian art. One significant artifact which was also claimed to be “the oldest historic work of art” is the Palette of Narmer. This beautifully carved palette is an early example of the hieroglyphic language and the scenes on the palette show a king, identified as Narmer. The historic object with unclear scenes has been very hard to interpret by historians but, it shows the union of Upper and Lower Egypt, which indicated the early development of a civilized period. This ancient palette was discovered in 1898 by James Quibell and Frederick Green. It was found with many other objects that had been covered up within the temple at Hierakonpolis, a capital believed to be located in the South of Egypt during the Predynastic era. Its size which was no more than 2 feet long, a shield-shape, made of smooth greyish siltstone and it’s decoratively carved on both sides with hieroglyphic writing and images. “Research suggests that these decorated palettes were used in temple ceremonies, perhaps to grind or mix makeup to be ritually applied to the image of the god [C].” During the predynastic period, palettes were a common item used for mixing cosmetics like the dark eyeliner but, larger palettes like the Narmer displayed carved sculptures of animals and humans indicating some sort of offering to the gods. Leaders at that time contributed items to the temple to show their moral goodness, which they believed would strengthen their connection with the gods. In time, temples were filled with these objects which could not be thrown away but, instead, buried under the temple grounds. Quibell and Green also found hundreds of artifacts like a number of large ceremonial mace-heads belonging to Narmer, ivory figurines, the scorpion mace-head and other animals, and also other palettes [D].
The top of the palette is decorated on both sides holding the king’s name, which is engraved in a “serekh” [A] between a goddess wearing two cow’s horns. The front side of the palette is divided in two interesting parts. In the top part, Narmer is shown wearing the tall, somewhat pointed white crown of Upper Egypt. “The White Crown is related to the dazzling