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Male Mummy Mask

Male Mummy Mask
Male Mummy Mask
Egypt, perhaps Luxor
1st or early 2nd century after Christ
Plaster, glass
(63.12)
Gift of Mr. H. K. Negbaur

Made of plaster, carefully molded and painted, this mask has inlaid eyes of cast black and white glass with dark blue glass eyeliners. Such masks were set over the faces of mummies, which were then carefully wrapped in strips of linen. The wrapping of the head provided an oval frame of cloth through which the mask appeared. Although cartonnage masks to protect mummies' faces had been in use in Egypt since ca. 2000 B.C., only after Egypt became a Roman province did realistic elements make their appearance. The lifelike appearance of this mask suggests it may have been intended to represent the deceased, although it cannot be considered a true portrait.

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