Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Palette inscribed for Smendes, High Priest of Amun

Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty 21
reign of High Priest of Amun Menkheperre
ca. 1045–992 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Upper Egypt, Thebes
Wood, ink, reed
Palette: L. 48.6 cm (19 1/8 in.); W. 7.2 cm (2 13/16 in.); Th. 1.1 cm (7/16 in.); Pens: L. 16.5–18 cm (6 1/2 in–7 1/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 130
Egyptian scribes perfected their skill in the art of writing as apprentices. They would copy hieroglyphs and phrases on chips of stone and fragments of pottery (ostraca), or on whitewashed writing boards (see 28.9.5).
A scribe would have owned a writing palette like this one, which provides space for two colors of ink and a slot for reed brushes (Egyptian scribes used brushes, not pens).
Purchased from Frank J. Tano, New York, 1947.

Jansen-Winkeln, Karl 2006. "Die Libyer in Herakleopolis magna." In Orientalia, 75, p. 304 n43.

Jansen-Winkeln, Karl 2007. Inschriften der Spätzeit, Teil I: Die 21. Dynastie. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 87-8, cat. 6.29.

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