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Cartonnage mask of a man called Tjay

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Object name: Cartonnage mask of a man called Tjay

Accession no.: E.198.1903

Other numbers and markings: tbd

Dimensions: H 27.5 cm W 19 cm

Brief description:

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.

Date: Eleventh Dynasty

Middle Kingdom

c. 2055-1985 BC

Further dating information

Find spot: Beni Hasan

Further find spot information

Acquisition: Given by the Beni Hasan Excavation Committee

Further acquisition information

Construction, decoration and materials:

Other information


Cartonnage mask of Tjay

Cartonnage mask of Tjay from proper left

Cartonnage mask of Tjay from proper right

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