Tutankhamen's Death Mask

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Found by Howard Carter in 1922, Tutankhamen’s Death Mask is made of the finest Egyptian gold and is one of the most recognisable Egyptian artefacts. The death mask of Tutankhamen has been a very important discovery and has given historians insight into ancient Egyptian civilisation. To demonstrate this, it is essential to discuss the context, nature, purpose and the significance of the artefact. Approximately 3000 years old, the Death Mask of Tutankhamen was discovered in the Valley of the Kings, in November 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter. His surprisingly intact tomb was found beneath some worker’s huts and inside the tomb, resting on the pharaoh’s mummy, was Tutankhamen’s Death Mask. Tutankhamen became pharaoh at the age of nine,…show more content…
At 54 cm long and 39.3 cm wide, it is a highly valuable object as it is made from gold. The collar is inlaid with semi-precious and precious gems as well as coloured glass paste. The eyes are made with obsidian and quartz while the eyebrows are inlaid with lapis lazuli. A custom striped headpiece surrounds the mask. The mask depicts a likeness of the young king, Tutankhamen but also has features such as a false beard that is braided tightly, and a vulture and cobra protecting his brows that represents the goddesses, Nekhbet and Wadjet. Furthermore, inscribed on the back of the mask are rows of the spell 151b from the Book of the Dead. This suggests that the Egyptians believed in the afterlife, which explains the artefact’s purpose. Used to cover the face of the mummy, the Death Mask of Tutankhamen portrays the features of the king in order for the soul to recognise the body and return to it. This also allowed the gods to recognise the body in the afterlife. The purpose of the spell on the back of the mask, as discussed in the previous paragraph, was to protect the dead body as it moves to the underworld. It is clear that the Egyptians believed in the afterlife, and therefore inscribing Tutankhamen’s Death Mask with spells to protect the pharaohs’ corpse, but the significance of the mask is
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