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A Step by Step guide to Egyptian Mummification
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Scribes's Palette

Wooden scribe's palette with writing pens, five depressions for paint and a larger rectangular depression for the pens. It was likely buried with the scribe who owned it, as a symbol of his profession. 


It has been suggested as a possible fake as the five depressions are unusual; the Egyptians preferred symmetrical layouts. The lack of a lid, and any grooves for a lid is also unusual however scientific analysis by the University of York has dated it c.1500-500 BCE.

The earliest writing in the world can be traced back to Ancient Egypt where it was used to record taxes c. 3250 BCE. This started as simple picture symbols, before developing into a complex script with its own shorthand. This allowed Egyptians to administer the country through a large civil service of scribes, who recorded taxes, kept records and organised workforces. It was an honoured profession as only 1% of the population could read and write.

Image: © Harrogate Borough Council, Museums and Arts Service