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Cartonnage Mummy Covering

In the Ptolemaic Period, an assemblage of cartonnage pieces consisting of the most important parts of funerary equipment came to replace the full-body cartonnage covering.

The elaborate mummy mask here shows the level of technical skill reached by the artisans who made such objects. The carefully modeled scarab beetle in gold leaf on the crown of the head shows a continuation of the religious symbolism used in earlier periods. The blue of the wig is symbolic of rejuvenation and transfiguration. The gold leaf on the face is not merely decoration but an indication that the deceased is a sah, a specialized form of the dead, a "divine being with a shining face." Other pieces of the assemblage depict winged genies, the Four Sons of Horus, sun disks, and Anubis on his shrine—all motifs familiar from earlier periods. The lower part of the inscription on the leg cover shows a number of dots occupying the place where the owner's name should be found, indicating that such objects were mass-produced.


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