Mask of a man together with his skull


British Museum

British Museum

In ancient Egypt, funerary images were not restricted to 'mummy portraits' painted on wooden panels. Plaster masks, often extending to cover the upper body, were also found, and seem to have been particularly popular in Middle Egypt.This portrait mask, which was probably originally attached to a coffin or mummy case, is modelled with great realism. The representation of the muscles of the neck suggest that the person was of an advanced age. The skull from the same burial is that of a mature adult, with moderately worn teeth. Some traces of the mummification process can still be seen on it. X-ray examination has revealed some erosion on the palate, which may be an indication of the process of some disease.

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  • Title: Mask of a man together with his skull
  • Date Created: 100/170
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 29.50cm; Width: 18.00cm; Depth: 14.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: painted
  • Registration number: 1899,1017.1
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Hiw
  • Period/culture: Roman Period
  • Material: plaster
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Egypt Exploration Fund