Mummy Mask of a Man
This mask would have covered the head of the mummy of a an Egyptian man. It is highly decorated with images of protective amulets and gods to aid in the journey towards becoming a glorified spirit in the afterlife. Over the head spread the wings of a vulture while a winged sun disc, symbol of rebirth in the afterlife is on its forehead.
A mummy mask decorated with images of amulets to protect and deities to help and protect the deceased. Some beautiful details, in a pendant the Four Sons of Horus and on both sides a hawk headed god, the one on the left is holding the white-crown of Egypt. While the one on the right is holding the red crown of Egypt in its hands.
Mummy masks of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods often had gilded faces that reflected the association of the deceased with the gods. This mask has been molded over a core, with layers of mud and linen. They were used to protect and idealize the facial features of the deceased.
What is Cartonnage?
Cartonnage is the term used in Egyptology and Papyrology for plastered layers of fibre or papyrus, flexible enough for moulding while wet against the irregular surfaces of the body; the method was used in funerary workshops to produce cases, masks or panels to cover all or part of the mummified and wrapped body.
Sometimes cartonnage is compared with papier mache, but there is no pulping of the substrate, whether papyrus or linen: instead, smaller or larger sections of linen are cut to shape, and layered, and the plaster applied over the top. The method of preparation preserves the sections, and for this reason papyrus cartonnage is a prominent source of well-preserved manuscript sections.
Roman Period, ca. 30 BC-395 CE. Gilded and painted cartonnage. From Meir. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE28440