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.
Narmer was the King of the southern lands of Upper Egypt whose capital was Hierakonpolis.
His opponents were based at Buto and ruled over the northern kingdom of the Nile Delta, called Lower Egypt.
The slate artefact measures 64 centimetres (over 2 feet) in height and 42 centimetres (about 17 inches) in width.
It was discovered by British archaeologists James E. Quibell and Frederick W. Green 1897–1898.
It was found in the Temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis, which was originally known as Nekhen.
The ‘Narmer Palette’ is important because it contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found.
It dates from the reign of the king c3100BC.
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.
Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt, Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt
The artefact is now one of the many exhibits at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
It is one of the most important sources of information about Early Dynastic Egypt and the unification of the ‘two lands’.