Main Article Content
This article addresses the question of the possible reuse of the mummy mask of Tutankhamun (Carter 256a). Recent publications have proposed that the mask was not originally made for Tutankhamun but was instead made for Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten as co-regent with Akhenaten. As part of the preparations for Tutankhamun’s burial it was reworked to produce a likeness of its new owner. This process necessitated the replacement of the original sheet gold face with one depicting Tutankhamun’s features, and the erasure of Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten’s name from the inscription on the left shoulder of the mask and its replacement with Tutankhamun’s.
Technological and scientific data derived from two of the authors’ intensive study of the mask in 2015 allow this hypothesis to be tested. This article discusses the basic manufacturing process for the mask and the technical requirements for a theoretical reworking of face and inscription; an excursus considers the textual merits of the purported “original” inscription set against those of the existing, purported “usurped” one. The authors conclude that there are no solid grounds to view the mask as having been altered from one owner to another.