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12 Ancient Masks

Masks were used for a wide variety of purposes across many ancient cultures. Some of the most common purposes were as funerary masks for important persons, as protection in warfare, worn during theatre performances, or to be worn by impersonators of gods during religious ceremonies. Materials were typically of high value such as gold, jade, and turquoise. This collection spans some 3,000 years from Egypt to the Americas.

Egyptian Masks

Coffin mask of queen consort of king Djehuti (around 1650 BC). Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst (State Museum of Egyptian Art) in Munich.
Egyptian gold coffin mask of queen consort of king Djehuti (around 1650 BCE). Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst (State Museum of Egyptian Art) in Munich, Germany. Photographer: Ali Kalamachi.