Egyptian Anubis Mask

Contributed by Royal Pump Room Museum Harrogate

Egyptian Anubis Mask. Copyright Harrogate Museums and Arts, Harrogate Borough Council

This mask would have been worn by a priest during funeral rituals.Mask in the form of the jackal head Anubis, ancient Egyptian god of embalming and the dead. It is made of cartonnage, layers of linen and papyrus, stiffened with plaster and then painted. It is one of only three surviving masks made for the living and the only one allowing the wearer to speak. It would have been worn by a priest over 2000 years ago, during funeral rituals such as the 'Opening of the Mouth' ceremony when the mouth, eyes, nose and ears of the mummy were touched to restore the senses.
This mask once had a home in the North Yorkshire farmhouse of Benjamin or 'Benny' Kent. (1884-1968). Benny was a farmer from Tatefield Hall, Beckwithshaw, near Harrogate. He had inherited his interest in archaeology and much of the collection from his father Bramley. The collection was displayed upstairs in Tatefield Hall until Benny's death in 1968, when it and other Egyptian objects were left to The Royal Pump Room Museum in Harrogate.

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