Burial Mask

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mask, Burial


a mask placed on the face of a dead person in burials. This custom, which is associated with ancestor worship and the concept of life after death, was practiced among different peoples at various times.

Burial masks made of wood, clay, gypsum, and gold have been found in ancient Egyptian necropolises. Gold burial masks have been found in the shaft graves of Mycenae (16th century B.C.), in what is now Iran, and also on the island of Samos (sixth century B.C.). Various types of burial masks have been discovered in Nineveh, Carthage, and elsewhere, as well as in ancient burials in Mexico and Peru. They were widely used in ancient Italy, first by the Etruscans and later by the Romans. On the territory of the USSR, gold burial masks have also been found at Olbia and Panticapaeum. The custom of placing burial masks on the faces of the dead also existed among some peoples of Siberia from the end of the first millennium B.C. to the seventh or eighth century A.D. In most cases, burial masks represent portraits of individuals. Their study makes it possible to establish, in particular, the physical type of the population of the corresponding time period.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Since the small, four-roomed tomb and its famous golden burial mask were discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter, observers have noted strange brown spots marring the lavish wall paintings.
(Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage) 3 / 4 Burial mask: 1-100 CE Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Thaj, Tell al-Zayer Gold.
A year after the beard was accidentally knocked off and hastily reattached, the 3,300 year-old burial mask of King Tutankhamun is finally back on display at The Egyptian Museum after more than two months of restoration by a team of experts from Henkel Adhesive Technologies.
The blue and gold beard on the 3,000-year-old burial mask became detached and appears to have been hastily glued back on.
The 11kg burial mask made of pure gold, along with the pharaoh's almost intact tomb, was discovered by British archaeologists Howard Carter and George Herbert in the Valley of Kings in South Egypt in 1922.
His intact tomb, complete with his famous golden burial mask, was discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 by another British Egyptologist, Howard Carter.
Judging from his golden burial mask (right), you might think King Tut was a real looker.
Turns out no one really needed a life-sized replica of King Tutankhamun's burial mask with a secret compartment to store his valuables.
THE blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun was hastily glued back on, damaging the relic after it was knocked during cleaning.
The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun the ancient Egyptian boy king, was hastily glued back on with epoxy glue, damaging the relic after it was knocked during cleaning, conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo said on Wednesday.