Ancient Egypt: History and culture
The Bull Palette: Photographs of both sides, line drawings of details.
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The Bull Palette - Source: The Glory of Egypt

The Bull Palette - Source: The Glory of Egypt

The Bull Palette

Bull trampling bearded enemy     This Schist palette is about 27 cm tall and is thought to date to the protodynastic period (ca. 3000 BCE).
    Virtual mirror images of a bull trampling a bearded enemy appear on both sides of the palette. The bull, a symbol of strength, represents pharaoh. Its depiction is similar to the bull on the Narmer Palette.
Five standards     Two of the standards are canines, the dog god Upuawt of the north and the south. The other three are an ibis, Thoth, a falcon, Horus, and a symbol for the god Min. Narmer on the other hand was preceded by two falcon, a canine and a placenta standard.
    The rope the hands are holding may have fettered prisoners.


Enemies, Narmer and Bull palettes     The similarity between the enemy figures on the Battlefield, the Narmer (on the left) and the Bull Palette (the pictures on the right) is striking, apart from the different hair (or wig) style of the Narmer Palette enemies.
    They are thought to represent inhabitants of the Delta. The long pharaonic beards of the subdued enemies may indicate their royal status.


Fortification     Fortifications reinforced with buttresses were built of mudbricks. Egypt, isolated by deserts in the east and the west from potential external enemies, must have experienced a lengthy period of inner unrest to necessitate the building of walls. The lion and jug inside the enclosure are thought to be the name of the town in early hieroglyphic writing. A second walled city is shown at the bottom.

  -Dynasties I and II: The Unification of Egypt
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