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Cartonnage Mask: E.198.1903

An image of Mummy mask

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An image of Mummy mask
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Object information


Cartonnage Mask


Cartonnage mask of a man called Tjay with painted facial details including broad eyebrows, eyes, beard and moustache. The mask is made from a layer of white calcite paste covered with scraps of linen impregnated with plant gum. A final paste layer was applied over this, and the ears were modelled in paste. The yellow flesh is painted with an arsenic pigment, probably orpiment. The corners of the eyes are painted with red earth and the cosmetic lines with Egyptian blue.

This mask was lying over the face of Tjay’s mummy, found undisturbed in his coffin in tomb 275 at Beni Hasan. By the end of the First Intermediate Period (about 2010 BC), the ideal form of the dead, known as ‘sah’ in ancient Egyptian, was a mummy wrapped in white linen with a mask covering his face.

Measurements and weight

Height: 27.5 cm
Width: 19 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Beni Hasan ⪼ Beni Hasan ⪼ Egypt

Find spot

  • Beni Hasan

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1903) by The Beni Hasan Excavation Committee


Eleventh Dynasty
Middle Kingdom
2055 BCE - 1985 BCE

Materials used in production

Linen Plaster

Techniques used in production

Cartonnage : Painted

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.198.1903
Primary reference Number: 50810
Oldadmincategory: Misc
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 March 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Antiquities

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Mummy mask" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-07-27 12:06:20

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=|title=Mummy mask|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-07-27 12:06:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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