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Narmer Palette, an Egyptian Archeological Find Essay

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Updated: Jul 6th, 2021

Narmer Palette seems to have a clear meaning as it symbolizes the forcible unification of the country’s two parts. It is one of the key themes of Egyptian art and literature throughout the period of pharaohs’ reign. The evidence shows that it was created in the era of the unification of Egypt and possibly tells about the victory of Upper Egypt over the Lower (Brewer 198). On one side of the palette, Pharaoh Narmer is presented with a crown, indicating the dominion over Upper Egypt (see Picture 1). On the other side, the shape of the crown changes that reflects of domination over the Lower Egypt.

On the right side of the palette, there are ritually executed decapitated bodies of ten enemies with heads between their legs. It seems that the bodies of enemies beheaded by Pharaoh lie on the ground, while the horizon line is raised vertically. Evidently, it was done specifically to visually show the symbolic number of executed prisoners. On the other hand, it is possible to suggest that the meaning of the scene depicted on Narmer Palette is not the execution of prisoners, yet a form of initiation to be faithful to Pharaoh (Brewer 198). The above statement may be confirmed by the condition that Narmer holds the staff in the middle and not in the end of the handle. The plate features specific signs of the art of the dynastic period, such as the arrangement of scenes along horizontal registers, the diversity of figures on social grounds, and the improper perspective of images.

Narmer Palette.
Picture 1. Narmer Palette.

Work Cited

Brewer, Douglas J. Ancient Egypt: Foundations of a Civilization. Routledge, 2014.

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1. IvyPanda. "Narmer Palette, an Egyptian Archeological Find." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/narmer-palette-an-egyptian-archeological-find/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. "Narmer Palette, an Egyptian Archeological Find." July 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/narmer-palette-an-egyptian-archeological-find/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Narmer Palette, an Egyptian Archeological Find'. 6 July.

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