Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mummy with a Painted Mask Depicting a Woman Holding a Goblet

Roman Period
A.D. 270–280
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Mentuhotep II, forecourt, shallow grave just west of Naville's old house, MMA excavations, 1923–24
Human remains, linen, plaster, paint, mummification material
L. 156.5 × W. 33 × H. 26.5 cm (61 5/8 × 13 × 10 7/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 137
Numerous burials from the Roman Period were found in the forecourts of the temple of King Mentuhotep II (ca. 2061-2010 B.C.) The king's temple was no longer in use but the nearby temple of Hatshepsut served as a sanctuary to the Greek god Asklepios and the Egyptian deified sages Imhotep and Amenhotep, son of Hapu. Pilgrims would sleep there to seek magical healing of ailments, and a burial nearby would be considered beneficial to the deceased.

The wrapping and cover of this mummy are representative of customs prevalent at the time of the last burials according to the Egyptian tradition. The woman's wreathed head rests upon a gold pillow. Her white tunic has broad black clavi (stripes), and she wears a mantle with greenish black orbiculi (circular ornaments), ornaments popular from the late third century.
Museum excavations 1923–24. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1925.

Winlock, Herbert E. 1924. "The Egyptian Expedition 1923–1924: The Museum's Excavations at Thebes." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 12 (December, Supplement), p. 33, fig. 38.

Grimm, Günter 1974. Die Römischen Mumienmasken aus Ägypten. Wiesbaden: Steiner, pp. 15, 42, 95f., 123, 143f. B1. pl. 112.5.

Riggs, Christina 2005. The Beautiful Burial in Roman Egypt: Art, Identity, and Funerary Religion. Oxford, pp. 232–3, 235, 297.

Thompson, Randall C., Adel H. Allam, Guido P. Lombardi, L. Samuel Wann, M. Linda Sutherland, James D. Sutherland, Muhammad Al-Tohamy Soliman, Bruno Frohlich, David Mininberg, Janet M. Monge, Clide M. Vallodolid, Samantha L. Cox, Gomaa Abd el-Maksoud, Ibrahim Badr, Michael I. Miyamoto, Abd el-Halim Nur el-din, Jagat Narula, Caleb E. Finch, and Gregory S. Thomas 2013. "Atherosclerosis across 4000 years of human history: the Horus study of four ancient populations." In The Lancet, March 10, p. 4.

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