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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Fish-shaped palette

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Hard stone palettes were used to grind malachite (a green copper ore) for eye paint, and were buried as offerings in the graves of both men and women from the end of the Neolithic period. They were usually placed near the head of the deceased, or perhaps suspended on a cord or leather thong...

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From Naga el-Hai (Qena), tomb K 527. 1913: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1913: assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

Egyptian, Predynastic Period, Nadaqa II, 3650–3300 B.C.


Naga el-Hai (Qena), Egypt


Length: 12.3 cm (4 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Greywacke, shell


The Ancient World


Tools & equipment, Cosmetic and Medical