The art of predynastic Egypt (c.4000–3200 B.C.), known from funerary offerings, consisted largely of painted pottery and figurines, ivory carvings, slate cosmetic palettes, and finely worked flint weapons. In painting, a monumental treatment was given to designs like those drawn in red on buff-colored pottery from Hieraconpolis, a palace city of upper Egypt. Toward the end of the predynastic period, sculptors began to carve monolithic figures of the gods from limestone, such as the Min at Coptos. In the protodynastic and early dynastic periods (3200–2780 B.C.) some Mesopotamian motifs began to appear. The craftsmanship of the finely worked stone bowls and vases of these periods is particularly remarkable.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.