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 Museum Explorer

Warfare in
Ancient Egypt

The Battlefield Palette

Length: 28.000 cm
Width: 20.000 cm

EA 20791

The Battlefield Palette

Perhaps from: Abydos, Egypt
Date: Late Predynastic period, around 3150 BC

A palette is a flat surface used to prepare make-up or paint, but at some point the ancient Egyptians also began to carve them with pictures that showed important events in their history.

The gruesome scene on this palette shows a lion and vultures feeding on dead bodies after a battle. Some historians think that the lion might represent a king attacking his enemies, although if this is the case it is unusual that they are shown as already dead.