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Purchased by M.H. deYoung on February 12, 1901 from the "sales room" of the Ghizeh Museum, per Emil Brugsch Bey, Conservateur du Mesee de Ghizeh.
Gift of M. H. de Young
This idealized image of the deceased as a resurrected being was placed over the head of a mummy from the Fayum that is in the Museums’ collection. It is made of cartonnage, an inexpensive and lightweight material composed of layers of linen stiffened with glue and plaster. The mask played a practical role as the protector of the head and a crucial symbolic function signifying the elevation of the deceased to a higher plane of existence in the afterlife. Its gilding identified the individual with the gods, which in religious texts were described as having flesh of gold.