Funerary mask of Hatnefer

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18, early
reign of Thutmose II–Early Joint reign
ca. 1492–1473 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Tomb of Hatnefer and Ramose, Mummy of Hatnefer, MMA 1935–1936
Cartonnage, gold, travertine (Egyptian alabaster), obsidian, ebony
h. 45.8 cm (18 1/16 in); w. 44 cm (17 5/16 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
  • Description

    In 1936, the Museum's Egyptian expedition discovered a rock-cut tomb on a hillside just below the offering chapel of Senenmut, one of Hatshepsut's best known officials. The tomb had been prepared for the burial of Senenmut's mother, Hatnefer, who had died in her 70s, early in the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. By this time, Senenmut had become a great official, and could provide a comparatively rich burial for his mother, including this gilded mummy mask and an exquisite heart scarab (36.3.2). She was also buried with several pieces of fine personal jewelry (36.3.3–.6).
    Hatnefer's small burial chamber also contained the reburial of her husband, Ramose, who had died years earlier. In addition, there were two wooden coffins containing simple grave goods (36.3.7–.52) and the mummies of two unnamed women and four children who were probably family members . It appears that Senenmut took the event of his mother's death as an opportunity to move his relatives from their original graves to Hatnefer's tomb where their spirits could benefit from the funerary gifts provided for her burial. These included chests of linen cloth (36.3.55a, b–.56a, b), jars of alabaster and pottery (36.3.82a,b–.83 ), baskets of food (36.3.57a, b–.58a, b), and personal belongings (36.3.59a, b–.60a, b).

  • Provenance

    Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1935–1936. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1936.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History