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Masks were a very important aspect of Ancient Egyptian burials. In common with the anthropoid coffin they provided the dead with a face in the afterlife. In addition they also enabled the spirit to recognise the body.

As well as the famous golden mask of Tutankhamun and the less well known solid gold mask of Psusennes there are several other masks on display in collections throughout the world. Such is the power of these beautiful objects that photographs can never fully do them justice.


The tomb of Tjuyu and Yuya was, until the discovery of Tutankhamun's, one of the most spectacular ever found in the Valley of the Kings.

Although the burial was robbed in antiquity, a great deal of objects not considered valuable by the robbers remained. Both the mummies were largely intact and were in an amazing state of preservation.

It is thought that Yuya, above, and the Lady Tjuyu, whose mask is shown on the right were the parents of Amenhotep III's principal wife Queen Tiye and were thus allowed the privilege of a burial in the royal valley.

This fine 18th Dynasty Mummy mask is from the collection of the British Museum. It is made from painted wood, but the name of it's original owner is unknown. It is unfortunate that many masks were damaged during unwrapping of mummies, but thankfully modern X-Ray techniques has rendered this highly destructive method of investigation obsolete.

Egyptian treasures

Gold of the Pharaohs

The Complete Tutankhamun

See more masks and mummy portraits from the collections of the N.M.S.