Cosmetic palettes are one of the most common funerary artefacts found in predynastic tombs. These palettes were used for grinding kohl, the eye cosmetics used since ancient times. The earliest palettes had simple geometric shapes: rectangular or rhomboidal. Later on animal shaped palettes appeared and we can find some beautiful ones in shapes of turtles, fish, birds etc..
From these then, we arrive at the ceremonial palettes by the late predynastic period. Ceremonial palettes are generally much larger than cosmetic palettes and are far more decorated. There are many well-known examples for ceremonial palettes, the most famous being of course Narmer's Palette that has been for so long interpreted as proof for the unification of Egypt.
Ceremonial palettes were usually much larger than cosmetic palettes, therefore they were not likely to be used for grinding cosmetics in a day-to-day setting. Many of these palettes were decorated on both sides which also appears to suggest that they were not used in the ordinary way, where one side would be always against the ground.
The decoration of ceremonial palettes often shows what can be perceived of order triumphing over chaos: the king is sometimes represented in the form of animals such as the bull or the lion and he is shows being victorious over the enemies of Egypt.
The ceremonial palette we are looking at today is actually quite small: its dimension are height: 9 cm (3 9/16 in) and width: 5.5 cm (2 3/16 in.). It is currently exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Gallery 101. Also, it is only decorated on one side.