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Burial mask

Burial mask

Burial mask

Gold, copper, pigment

H: 35; W: 51; D: 23.5 cm

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Maremont, Chicago, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Accession number:



The wealth of the Lambayeque rulers can be seen in the magnificent mask on display here, which was used during funerary rituals. Geometric and zoomorphic dangles added glittering details to these precious masks. The broad frontal face with commashaped eyes, a straight nose, and flaring nostrils also appears in Lambayeque clay objects. It may represent the Sican deity or the legendary Naymlap, who came by balsa raft to the Lambayeque coast and established the dynasty that ruled the region until the Chimu conquest in the 14th century.

From the Israel Museum publications:

Ekholm, Gordon F., The Maremont Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Beauty and Sanctity: the Israel Museum at 40. A Series of Exhibitions Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Zalmona, Yigal, 2006


The Beauty of Sanctity: Masterworks from Every Age, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 29/03/2005 - 12/11/2005