Narmer Palette

The History of Egypt for Kids - Narmer Palette

The Civilization, Culture & History of Ancient Egypt and facts about Narmer Palette

Ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egyptians - Narmer Palette
A comprehensive guide and fact sheet about Narmer Palette. Discover fascinating facts and information about ancient Egypt and Narmer Palette.
Definition and meaning
Significance and importance of the artefact
Description of what each of the scenes depicts
The symbolism of the artefact
The discovery and history
Interesting information and facts
The unification of the 'two lands' of Upper and Lower Egypt
An overview of the Narmer Palette of ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians - Narmer Palette
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The Narmer Palette
The Narmer Palette has a confusing name as we associate the word 'palette' with an artist's board. Just to clarify the term, the word Narmer is the name of the king who is depicted on this ancient artefact, which is also called called Narmer's Victory Palette. The term 'palette' was used by early Egyptologists to describe the cosmetic slate palettes of predynastic Egypt that were originally used to grind and apply ingredients for facial or body make-up.  These early small cosmetic palettes were often inscribed with symbols and iconography and were some of the first forms of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Much larger pieces of slate were then used to carve structured sets of texts that were created as tributes to commemorate important events or for ceremonial purposes. The Narmer Palette measures 64 centimetres (over 2 feet) in height and 42 centimetres (about 17 inches) in width. Click the following link for additional facts and information about
King Narmer.

Narmer Palette

                                    Front of Narmer Palette                 Reverse of Narmer Palette                                   

The Narmer Palette Definition
The Narmer Palette definition: Slate carvings commemorating the victory of King Narmer of the southern kingdom of Egypt over the northern kingdom and his unification of the two lands. Both sides are decorated and the hieroglyphic inscriptions are amongst the oldest ever found.

The Narmer Palette depicts the unification of the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt by King Narmer who is represented wearing both Egyptian crowns. This is first attestation of this historical event.  The king is depicted as the conqueror of lands and the master of his vanquished enemies. The traditional enemies of Egypt were collectively referred to as the 'Nine Bows' reflecting the weapons used by their enemies.

Ancient Egypt - Narmer Palette Fact Sheet

Fact 1 on Narmer Palette:

Narmer was the King of the southern lands of Upper Egypt whose capital was Hierakonpolis.

Fact 2 on Narmer Palette:

His opponents were based at Buto and ruled over the northern kingdom of the Nile Delta, called Lower Egypt. See the following Maps of Upper and Lower Egypt

Fact 3 on Narmer Palette:

The slate artefact measures 64 centimetres (over 2 feet) in height and 42 centimetres (about 17 inches) in width.

Fact 4 on Narmer Palette:

It was discovered by British archaeologists James E. Quibell and Frederick W. Green 18971898.

Fact 5 on Narmer Palette:

It was found in the Temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis, which was originally known as Nekhen.

Fact 6 on Narmer Palette:

The 'Narmer Palette' is important because it contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found.

Fact 7 on Narmer Palette:

It dates from the reign of the king c3100BC.

Fact 8 on Narmer Palette:

Meaning: The meaning of the artefact refers to the unification of Egypt. This is clearly depicted in the front of the artefact with the king wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt, and on the reverse he wears the the Red Crown of Lower Egypt.

Red Crown of EgyptWhite Crown was called the Hedjet
Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt

Fact 9 on Narmer Palette:

The artefact is now one of the many exhibits at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Fact 10 on Narmer Palette:

It is one of the most important sources of information about Early Dynastic Egypt and the unification of the 'two lands'.

Ancient Egypt - Narmer Palette Fact Sheet


The Ancient Cities of Egypt

The Narmer Palette
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The Ancient Egyptians


Narmer Palette
Learn about Narmer Palette the fast and easy way via the Narmer Palette Fact sheet.

Ancient Egypt - Narmer Palette Fact Sheet

Fact 11 on Narmer Palette:

The top of both sides of the slate carving depicts the cow goddess Bat. The horns symbolize protection


Fact 12 on Narmer Palette:

The inscription in the Pyramid texts "...I am Bat with Her Two Faces..." supports the theory that it is the goddess Bat and not the later goddess Hathor who is depicted on the ancient artefact.

Fact 13 on Narmer Palette:

The name of the king is inscribed in a serekh between the heads of the goddess Bat.


Fact 14 on Narmer Palette:

The serekh was the earliest convention used to set apart the royal name in ancient Egyptian iconography, before the cartouche was used. A chisel above a catfish was the symbol for the king's name.

Fact 15 on Narmer Palette:

Front Depiction: The Horus falcon also relates to the title of the king as a son of Ra and was later included as part of the serekh indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name

Horus symbol

Fact 16 on Narmer Palette:

Front Depiction: The most important figure is that of the king wearing the Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt holding a mace and adopting the 'striking the enemy' pose


Fact 17 on Narmer Palette:

Front Depiction: The theme of defeating the enemies continues with the king grasping the head of an enemy and standing upon his naked enemies. In Egyptian art there are no representation of facial hair other than the stylized false pharaonic beard. Enemies were portrayed wearing beards, as a sign of being foreigners.



Fact 18 on Narmer Palette:

Front Depiction: The small depiction of a servant, or perhaps a priest, to the left of the king carries the king's sandals. In Egyptian art gods and kings are always depicted with bare feet, emphasizing their close connection with the land of Egypt.


Fact 19 on Narmer Palette:

Front Depiction: The following section of the carving depicts papyrus reeds (a symbol of lower Egypt). In early Egyptian hieroglyphs a papyrus blossom stood for the numeral 1000 - this group therefore means that the king had captured six thousand enemies.


Ancient Egypt - Narmer Palette Fact Sheet


Narmer Palette

Facts and Information about Narmer Palette

The people, places, culture and civilization of ancient Egypt

Facts and information about Ancient Egypt & the Egyptians

Narmer Palette for kids and schools

Narmer Palette  for kids, schools, homework and research

The famous artefacts of ancient Egypt


Narmer Palette
Learn about this ancient artefact the fast and easy way via the following Fact sheet.

Ancient Egypt - Narmer Palette Fact Sheet

Fact 20 on Narmer Palette:

Reverse Depiction: The back of the Narmer Palette is divided into four levels: the King's name with the protection of the goddess Bat, Narmer inspecting the bodies of slain enemies, the taming of wild animals and a bull, symbolising the king destroying the walls of fortress.

Fact 21 on Narmer Palette:

The king is represented wearing the Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt.


Fact 22 on Narmer Palette:

The king participating in a celebrational procession with his standard bearers to inspect the bodies of his decapitated enemies


Fact 23 on Narmer Palette:

The scene depicting the taming of wild animals which result in two fabulous creatures with their heads entwined forming a circle. In ancient Egypt a circle or sphere was symbolic of unity, and was a reference to the unification of the 'two lands'


Fact 24 on Narmer Palette:

This scene depicts a mighty, raging bull trampling on an enemy of Egypt and attacking a city or fortress surrounded by walls.


Ancient Egypt - Narmer Palette Fact Sheet

Narmer Palette
Learning about the ancient Egyptians and ancient artefacts inspires everyone to visit historical sites and undertake Egypt Travel and Tours to experience the wonders of this magical land at first hand. Many people choose to experience a tour of Egypt on a Nile Cruise stopping at the famous destinations and sites of Egypt such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. The information and facts about this ancient artefact will provide you with a great insight into Egypt and the legacy of the ancient Egyptians.


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