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The Palette Of King Narmer Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

The Egyptian culture was a culture that lasted about 3,000 years and was located near the Nile River. The Nile River provided most of the resources for the Egyptians; therefore, a lot of the artwork was based on representing these bountiful resources. Another major influence of the artwork that was created was the kings and gods that were held at such high standards (Stokstad and Cothren, 50). There is one king in particular that was known in history for his great accomplishments, this king was King Narmer. The Egyptian’s expressed their respect for this king through a palette known as The Palette of Narmer. This piece is one of the firsts of Egyptian times that sets the morals for Egyptian artwork; it was created in the Early Dynastic time period. The Palette of Narmer tells a vast political story of the history of Egypt and the king, King Narmer.
The Palette of Narmer was created on a flat stone surface; the artists then carved the story into the flat stone in a very specific manor. This palette is known for representing the coming together of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt (Stokstad and Cothren, 52). At the top of the palette on both sides shows two bulls that were said to possibly represent the goddess Hathor. Hathor was known as the goddess of protection, and is depicted in other Egyptian art as a woman with cow ears (British Museum, no page). In between the heads of Hathor is the name of the King Narmer, written with iconography called serekh. In this serekh, one can see the Horus falcon head and below it is the name of the king. The falcon head is said to protect the Egyptian ruler (Kinnaer). Although this is just one small piece of the top of the palette, it already starts to depict an enormous part of history in Egypt.
As one moves below the bullheads on the front side of the palette starts the story of Narmer. Narmer is easy to see because he is gigantic in comparison with the other characters. Narmer is tall and slender and wears a headdress, which is said to be the red crown that signifies Lower Egypt. As Narmer marches towards the right side of the palette, he brings his fellow soldiers with him as he holds his weapons of choice. The four smaller men are holding long sticks, all which have different objects at the end of them. The two objects on first two sticks are hard to depict, but the last two on the right-hand side appear to be falcons. The army marches towards ten men that are lying on the right-hand side. These men are all beheaded, with their heads placed in between their feet. These ten men represent rivals of Narmer, and have been overthrown in this victory (Stokstad and Cothren, 52).
There is a clean line that separates the next part of the story of Narmer. Below King Narmer’s triumph are two lions that appear with their necks interconnected forming a circle. As the two lions connect with one another, this represents the connection of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt. There are two men who look as if they are taming the lions...

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