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Burial customs: Mummy Masks

The first mummy masks appear at the end of the Old Kingdom (about 2686-2181 BC) . They are usually made in stuccoed linen (cartonnage). In the First Intermediate Period they are very common in elite burials. In the Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC) some examples are inscribed. In the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC ), Third Intermediate Period and Late Period mummy masks appear in some elite burials, but became widespread again only in the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods.

(click on the images to see a larger picture)

First Intermediate Period - Middle Kingdom

mummy masks found at Sedment | mummy mask, Sedment tomb 2101 | Sedment tomb 421


New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC )

From the late Second Intermediate Period and early New Kingdom there survive mummy masks with a very small face and a large headdress/crown around it.

UC 72746 UC 55066


Third Intermediate Period


Ptolemaic (perhaps including early Roman)


Roman (see too the examples from Hawara)


There are amazingly few monographs or articles on mummy masks. The only monographs is: Grimm 1974 (on the mummy mask in Roman Egypt)



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