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Flat stone palettes for the grinding of pigments are particularly associated with Predynastic Egypt, when they were made almost exclusively of mudstone and were formed into distinctive geometric and zoomorphic shapes. Ceremonial palettes of the late Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods are linked with the emerging ideology of kingship, and are especially elaborate, as they are often decorated with carved relief over the entire surface. Following the Early Dynastic period, the importance of palettes diminishes significantly.

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