Golden Mummies : Mask

Golden Mummies

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This richly gilded cartonnage mask represents the deceased in divine form, with golden flesh. A contemporary funerary text known as the Embalming Ritual from the First Century CE states: ‘‘He (the sun god) will gild your body for you, a beautiful colour even to the extremities of your limbs. He will make your skin flourish with gold.’</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Areas of damage reveal the structure of the mask built up of linen fabric and plaster. On the brow of the deceased occurs the protective wedjat eye or ‘Eye of Horus’. The lappets are decorated with scenes of seated deities – plausibly to be identified as Osiris, the god of rebirth, flanked by his two sisters Isis and Nephthys – long with a series of protective rearing cobras. An intricately patterned broad collar is indicated between the lappets and the shoulder areas have a cross-hatching design attested on contemporary masks from the Faiyum region.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>With their long full headdresses and generic faces, traditional Pharaonic mummy masks often appear rather genderless to a modern viewer. Both the stylised curls of hair and the presence of earrings in the form of ibexes indicate that this unidentified mask was intended for a woman.</p>

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