Golden mask of Tutankhamun now displayed in Museum

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


A replica of the most famous treasure found in King Tut’s tomb is now on display in the Prewitt-Allen Museum. Acquired in early March, the golden mask of Tutankhamun appears as an impressive piece among the 600 artifacts shown in the Museum.

The original golden mask weighed 24 pounds, consisting of gold with inlaid lapis lazuli, carnelian, quartz, turquoise, obsidian and colored glass. When the boy king’s tomb was found in 1922, the mask was on the mummified body. It presents an idealized portrait of the king, who died at the age of 18. The Museum’s replica is exact-size and displayed upright in a glass case, offering viewers a striking face-to-face encounter with the most popularized Egyptian king.

The mask is the most recent acquisition to the Museum. According to Howard Games, Assistant Curator, the last items to join the collection were added in 2006. A handmade replica of one of the jars in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were stored is located in the Palestine-Mesopotamia wing of the Museum. Also donated the same year was a small but significant piece--an original cuneiform foundation cone. Such cones were typically inscribed with a prayer and buried at the cornerstone of a building.

The Prewitt-Allen Museum is home to one of the most unique Middle East artifact collections on the West Coast. Located on the second floor of the College library, the Museum holdings include pottery dating from 3000 B.C. and an exact-size casting of the famed Rosetta Stone. Admission is free and open to the public during regular library hours--weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Group tours can be arranged by calling the Library at 503-375-7016 or you can visit the website for more information at:

  • Dr. Adrian Jeffers, Curator, finishes unpacking the latest acquisition to the Prewitt-Allen Archaeological Museum—an exact-size replica of the golden burial mask of King Tutankhamun.

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