A collar for an Egyptian mummy

This is part of a mummy mask, made of plaster over linen cloth. The style became popular in Egypt about 4000 years ago and they usually included a portrait of the dead person, with a wig, beard and collar; we don’t have the portrait of the person whose mummy wore this collar. The figure at the centre is probably Anubis, the dog-headed god associated with the dead in Egyptian mythology. He attended the ‘Weighing of the Heart’, a ceremony which decided if a soul was able to enter the realm of the dead, in which case Anubis would usher them on to the afterlife. The little paper label says it comes from an ‘anciently plundered grave’; someone thought it was worth risking the Mummy’s Curse, maybe seeking for treasure.

MS HT 110

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