Upper part of palette (pen case) later reused as a mould for beads measuring c6.5cm long.
A fine writing palette was amongst the scribe’s most treasured personal possessions, and versions in stone were made for ceremonial purposes as badges of rank. Wooden ones were used for every day. Around the central cavities for ink and reed pens, the scribe would often record his name and titles and a favoured god, most frequently, Ibis headed god Thoth, patron of knowledge and writing.
This item is from Zaqazig (previously Tell el Basta/Bubastis) and dates from the New Kingdom to Late Dynastic Period. It came to us via the Berens collection purchased by Wellcome in August 1923.
For a collection of stone moulds and suggestions as to what they may have been used for see Lacovara et al. 2001: 99-101.
For more information on scribes and scribal materials in the Egypt Centre click here.
Lacovara, P., D’Auria, S. and Teasley Trope, B. (eds.) 2001. The Collector’s Eye: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from the Thalassic Collection, Ltd. Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum.