Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
- Author(s): Wengrow, David
- et al.
“Predynastic art” describes a range of visual imagery and ornamental forms attested in Egypt and Lower Nubia from c.4000 - 3300 BCE. The known corpus comprises a rich variety of figural and non-figural designs, often applied to functional objects that were widely available, such as cosmetic palettes, ceramic vessels, and combs. Free-standing figurines are also known, as are occasional examples of large-scale painting and sculpture. Such images were a pervasive feature of Egyptian social life prior to the formation of the dynastic state, when elaborate personal display appears to have become a prerogative of elite groups.