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Roman-Egyptian Coffin Mask

Roman-Egyptian Coffin Mask

A burial mask from the Roman period in Egypt, likely 3rd Century A.D. A fine example of the way in which Roman and Egyptian burial beliefs and techniques were blending during this period.

The mask is more accurately referred to as part of the cartonnage from a mummified burial. A mummified body would be buried with a shroud laid over it, painted in colour with a stylised representation of the deceased. As a native Roman, the figure would be shown wearing typically Roman clothing, but combined with Egyptian protection hieroglyphics. 

This example shows the characteristic face of a Roman, with distinctively Roman haircut and facial hair. Originally the head would have featured a plaster representation of a Roman-style head wreath – now sadly missing.

 

TRIVIA

  • Coffin masks were often made by laying and setting wax over the face of the deceased.