Mask of Tutankhamun

The mask of Tutankhamun is a gold death mask of the 18th-dynasty ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun

Mask of Tutankhamun


The mask of Tutankhamun is a gold death mask of the 18th-dynasty ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun (reigned 1332–1323 BC). It was discovered by Howard Carter in 1925 in tomb and is now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.The mask is one of the most well known works of art in the world.Bearing the likeness of Osiris, Egyptian god of the afterlife, it is 54 centimetres (1.8 ft) tall, weighs over 10 kilograms (22 lb), and is decorated with semi-precious stones. An ancient spell from the Book of the Dead is inscribed in hieroglyphs on the mask's shoulders. The mask had to be restored in 2015 after its 2.5-kilogram (5.5 lb) plaited beard fell off and was hastily glued back on by museum workers. Tutankhamun's burial chamber was found at the Theban Necropolis in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 and opened in 1923. It would be another two years before the excavation team, led by the English archaeologist Howard Carter, was able to open the heavy sarcophagus containing Tutankhamun's mummy. On 28 October 1925, they opened the innermost of three coffins to reveal the gold mask, seen by people for the first time in approximately 3,250 years. Carter wrote in his diary: The pins removed, the lid was raised. The penultimate scene was disclosed – a very neatly wrapped mummy of the young king, with golden mask of sad but tranquil expression, symbolizing Osiris … the mask bears that god's attributes, but the likeness is that of Tut.Ankh.Amen – placid and beautiful, with the same features as we find upon his statues and coffins. The mask has fallen slightly back, thus its gaze is straight up to the heavens. In December 1925, the mask was removed from the tomb, placed in a crate and transported 635 kilometres (395 mi) to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where it remains on public display.

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