Petrie excavated this large cemetery site over two seasons. The burial that contained this palette had been looted; many of the bones are missing. Because of this, it was not clear whether the burial belonged to a man or a woman, but the body had been in a wooden coffin, and the palette had been near the head.
Much of the organic preservation was so good that objects such as baskets, wooden bed frames and textiles survived. A particularly important discovery was a linen tunic, now in the Petrie Museum, which is the oldest known preserved item of clothing.