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Art of the Old and Middle Kingdom
Schist Palettes
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Beginning in the Predynastic era, the Egyptians used schist palettes to grind up malachite and galena. These materials were used as eye paint for both health and cosmetic purposes.

The palettes have geometric, animal, and shield forms.

Important historical, religious, and mythological events were sometimes engraved upon them. The inscribed palettes were at times deposited in temples as ex-votos, which are offerings in fulfillment of a vow.

The most important palettes that have been discovered are the Narmer palette and the Libyan palette. Other palettes are exhibited in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

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