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Information about
Egyptian Death Masks

What role did Egyptian death masks play in ancient Egyptian society? The ancient Egyptians had complex and elaborate beliefs about the afterlife.

They believed that death was simply another step in the process of eternal life.

However, to ensure eternal life, the body had to be preserved through mummification and the tomb had to contain the items that the person would be using in the afterlife.

These things could be items like statues of their various Gods, funeral equipment, and furniture and other items.

The ancient Egyptians also used Egyptian death masks as part of their funeral rituals. It was thought that these items, including death masks, needed to be preserved so that the person could enjoy the afterlife.

The purpose of these death masks was to give the dead a face in the afterlife. They were also thought to allow the spirit to recognize the body and also to allow them to be recognized and accepted by other people in the realm of the dead. Egyptian death masks could be very elaborate, depending on the status of the person who was deceased.

The masks were usually constructed by taking a plaster cast of the person's face, then making a copy of thin gold plate or other material that was then painted with a likeness of the deceased person.

It was mostly royalty that had death masks made of gold, and they were often studded with expensive jewels and lapis lazuli, as well. Red paint tones were used for men and yellow paint tones were used for women to represent the different skin tones.

Eyebrows, noses and other features were emphasized according to the many rules governing the mummification and preservation processes of the Egyptians. Social status was also implied by the death masks with hairstyles, jewelry and costumes that were painted on it.

Egyptian death masks were just one more way the ancient Egyptians used to follow their religious beliefs about eternal life.

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