The Palelette Of Narmer Analysis

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This art study will provide a visual and iconographic analysis of “The Palette of Narmer” in the context of the Egyptian stonework from the 31st century B.C. “The Palette of Narmer” (circa 31st Century B.C.) is a carved stone object typically meant for grinding cosmetic powders (to adorn statutes of the gods), but this object was used as a formal ritual object in a temple. This palette was found at the Main Deposit of Egyptian antiquities in Nekhen, which presents one of the earliest known examples of Egyptian hieroglyphics ever found at an excavation site. The iconography of this piece expresses the traditional symbolism of government order in ancient Egypt through the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under King Narmer. In essence, a visual …show more content…
This historic event defined the symbolic narrative of the unification of Egypt as a symbolic representation of governmental order. In the recto side of the object, King Narmer is shown holding a mace and wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt. King Narmer is seen wielding his mace over a prisoner, which was meant to symbolize this form of military power over a foe. On the verso side, Narmer is seen wielding a mace and wearing the red Crown of Lower Egypt. Symbolically, the iconography of this kingly image defines the overarching symbolism of the unification of Egypt under military power. The iconography of “The Palette of Narmer” generally depicts the military might of King Narmer as a historical example of the unification of Egypt during the 31st century B.C. More so, the godly intervention of King Narmer’s power is representative of the approval of the gods in the unity of Upper and Lower Egypt during this historical …show more content…
in ancient Egypt. “The Palette of Narmer” expresses the innovative techniques of raised relief carvings and the use of fine siltstone to depict the narrative of King Narmer’s unification of Egypt. The line work and composition of this piece define the rarity of the palette as a ritual object, instead of being used for grinding cosmetics for everyday usage. The iconographic appeal of “The Palette of Narmer” is the historic unification of Egypt through the military power of King Narmer (and his mace) to force Upper and Lower Egypt into a single kingdom. Historically this piece tells the modern viewer about the military struggles of this era, which made King Narmer a major military leader in the restoration of governmental order. Symbolically the importance of governmental order is part of the symbolism of the bull, which can also be stylistically observe in the “Bull Palette” from the latter 4th millennium Egyptian stone carvings. Therefore, a visual and iconography analysis of “The Palette of Narmer” defines the symbolic and narrative structure of this object within the context of Egyptian history and artistic

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