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Mummy Mask

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)

Unknown, Egyptian

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Cartonnage, pigment
Credit Line: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
Accession Number: 15.2003L
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

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]

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Protected for Eternity: The Coffins of Pa-debehu-Aset, Gallery Guide Explore the world of Pa-debehu-Aset, and the sacred stories that relate the Egyptian journey to the afterlife. Learn how a mummy is made, and explore reading and writing in ancient Egypt.

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