Hierakonpolis mask

By Jacqueline Engel

This is Egypt’s earliest known mask.

Made in pottery with the eyes and mouth cut out, it is curved to fit over the head and could be attached behind the ears by passing a string through holes.

It was probably used in funerary rituals – either as a mask for the deceased or to be worn by the person performing the ritual.

Naqada II, about 3650-3300 BC, Hierakonpolis

(Elite Cemetery KH6), pottery, JE 99152

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