Mask of the Week

A few weeks ago I posted the mummy mask of Satdjehuty, a very glamorous and stylised Egyptian mask from about 1400 BC. To give some indication of the incredible continuity of Ancient Egyptian culture, here’s the mummy mask of Pachons, from 1600 years later in Roman Egypt:

That’s also from the British Museum. here’s what they have to say about it:

Excavations in the later layers of debris over the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari have revealed that part of the area was used as a cemetery in the middle Roman period. A small number of the mummies found were adorned with masks. On the basis of the style of their hair and dress, they have been dated to the third century AD. They presumably belonged to people of high status, as the area of Deir el-Bahari was, and still is, a holy one.

The owner of this mask, Pachons, son of Psesarmese, is portrayed wearing a long-sleeved cream-coloured tunic. Around his head is decoration in yellow, in imitation of gold. In his hands he carries a pot and a small garland of orange flowers. The panel at the bottom shows a representation of Sokar, the god of the Memphite necropolis (cemetery).

There are remains of pieces of plaited linen which either attached the mask to the mummy or attached a wooden label, which bore the name of the deceased.

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