Description

The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egyptian archeological find, dating from about the 31st century BC, belonging, at least nominally, to the category of cosmetic palettes. It contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. The tablet is thought by some to depict the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the king Narmer. Along with the Scorpion Macehead and the Narmer Maceheads, also found together in the main deposit at Nekhen, the Narmer Palette provides one of the earliest known depictions of an Egyptian king. The Palette shows many of the classic conventions of Ancient Egyptian art, which must already have been formalized by the time of the Palette's creation. The Egyptologist Bob Brier has referred to the Narmer Palette as "the first historical document in the world".

Obverse

Depicts the recto side of the Narmer Palette.

The largest relief on this side depicts Narmer, who lifts a royal mace in his right hand while with his left he pulls up a kneeling captive by the hair. In contrast to the verso depiction of Narmer, where he is shown with the Red Crown of Lower Egypt, on this side he wears the White Crown of Upper Egypt. His pose reflects the Ancient Egyptian convention of showing an important figure from multiple perspectives at once. His feet, legs and head are shown in profile, while the torso and hips turn slightly and his shoulders face the front. One eye, even though it would normally not be seen if this were an actual profile head, is also shown from the front.

Narmer (Ancient Egyptian: nꜥr-mr, meaning "painful catfish," "stinging catfish," "harsh catfish," or "fierce catfish;" r. c. 3273 – 2987 BC) was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period. He was the successor to the Protodynastic king Ka. Many scholars consider him the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, and in turn the first king of a unified Egypt.

Reverse

Stylized state name (Arab Republic of Egypt) divides denomination in Arabic and English and abbreviation of state name (A.R.E.) below, the date in Arabic (Hijri) and Western (Georgian) divides by a vulture with open wings. Engraver's initials (ECC) below.

In Ancient Egypt, the vulture hieroglyph was the uniliteral sign used for the glottal sound (/ɑː/). The bird was held sacred to Isis in ancient Egyptian religion. The use of the vulture as a symbol of royalty in Egyptian culture and their protection by Pharaonic law made the species common on the streets of Egypt and gave rise to the name "pharaoh's chicken".

5 ٥ جمهورية مصر العربية
LE جـ
A.R.E.
1414 1993 ECC ١٤١٤ ١٩٩٣

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Silver
Fineness 0.999
Weight 22.5 g
Diameter 39 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Mexican Mint (Mo)

Related coins

Cleopatra Bust

Pharaonic Treasure / Ancient Egyptian Art

Silver, 22.5 g, ⌀ 39 mm
Giza Pyramid Complex

Pharaonic Treasure / Ancient Egyptian Art

Silver, 22.5 g, ⌀ 39 mm
Great Sphinx of Giza

Pharaonic Treasure / Ancient Egyptian Art

Silver, 22.5 g, ⌀ 39 mm