© Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “L. Pigorini”

Name of Object:


Name in original language:



Rome, Italy

Holding Institution:

National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography “Luigi Pigorini”

 About MIBACT | National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography “Luigi Pigorini”, Rome

Holding Institution (original language):

Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini”

Date of Object:

Naquada I; acquired in 1901

Inventory Number:

inv. 66002

Material(s) / Technique(s):



Length 10 cm




The cosmetic palette is fish-shaped and reproduces the form of a fish from the Nile River, Tilapia nilotica. The palette was found in a woman's tomb along with a turtle-shaped cosmetic palette, ivory findings, a comb, a huge ring and ceramics. As a result of the excavations by W. Petrie and J. De Morgan, who documented the existence of an era preceding the 1st dynasty, Luigi Pigorini, director of the "Museo Preistorico Etnografico e Kircheriano”, decided to expand the Egyptian archaeological collection. In 1878 he began to acquire important groups, but the main body of the collection was donated by David Randall-MacIver in 1901, after the excavations he carried out on the behalf of the Egypt Exploration Fund in the town of el-Amrah, Upper Egypt. Another major purchase — from the Italian Archaeological Mission in Egypt (excavations of Hammamiye) led by Ernesto Schiaparelli, director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin — followed in 1905. The last main acquisition took place in 1913 when the Egyptian objects from Enrico Hillyer Giglioli’s collection entered the museum collection.

Citation of this web page:

Marina Minozzi "Palette" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=object;AWE;it;182;en

Database entry origination:

Prepared by: Marina Minozzi
Copyedited by: Anne Dowell

MWNF Working Number: IT2 040

Related Content

 Timeline for this item


On display in

MWNF Galleries

Archaeological Objects


As PDF (including images) As Word (text only)