30 BCE - 350 CE
Roman Period (30 BCE-350 CE)
14 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (36.8 x 26.7 x 11.4 cm)
Medium and Support:
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
Location: Currently on view
Ancient Egyptians believed that ornamented masks and body coverings as well as sacred texts could magically protect the mummy in the afterlife. This mask is made of cartonnage, a material of plaster and linen similar to papier-mâché. In ancient Egypt, these cartonnage forms, frequently ornamented and painted with depictions of gods and goddesses, were placed on the body after it was mummified. These images, along with hymns and texts from the Book of the Dead, protected the mummy in the afterlife in the same way as the decoration on anthropoid coffins.
[Gallery label text, 2009]