Sponsored by: Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, Harvard Art Museums
Lorelei H. Corcoran, Professor of Art History; Director, Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology University of Memphis
In ancient Egypt, one of the final steps in the mummification process was to equip the body with a permanent face covering that helped to protect the head and also to ritually transform the deceased into a god. The earliest examples of these were stylized masks, later replaced by more realistic-looking, painted portraits. Using evidence from the archaeological record and
the Book of the Dead—a series of spells meant to guide the dead as they sought eternal life— Lorelei Corcoran will discuss the production and function of the “mummy portraits” that were popular throughout Egypt in the Roman period and what these images reveal about the religious beliefs and multi-layered ethnicities of their subjects.
Free parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.
Presented by the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture in collaboration with the Harvard Art Museums
Related exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums: Funerary Portraits from Roman Egypt open through December 31, 2022
Image courtesy Harvard Art Museums: 1939.111