Death Mask of Tutankhamun. The death mask of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun is made of gold inlaid with colored glass and semiprecious stone. The mask comes from the innermost mummy case in the pharaoh’s tomb, and stands 54 cm (21 in) high. The emblems on the forehead (vulture and cobra) and on the shoulders (falcon heads) were symbols of the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt and of divine authority. The vulture Nekhbet and the cobra Wadjet protected the pharaoh.
The Egyptian vulture. The Egyptian vulture is a tool-using bird. Egyptian vultures are specialists in egg-eating. They are among the only known birds in the world to use stones as tools. They will repeatedly strike at an abandoned ostrich egg with stones, then use their beak to enlarge the hole and penetrate membrane. Then it feasts on the oozing interior of the egg. In ancient Egypt the vulture is considered to be nearer to God who is believed to reside above the sky.
The Egyptian cobra. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cobra and used it as a symbol on the crown of the pharaohs. It is used as a protective symbol, the Egyptians believed that the cobra would spit fire at any approaching enemies.
It is also called asp.
The coffin is made of solid gold. Note the vulture Nebket that spans the chest of the mummy with its wings. A goddess protects the feet and the face is obviously the work of the same craftsman/artist that made the mask. Tutankhamun is holding the crook and flail that symbolized royal power in ancient Egypt. He was buried in three coffins, all fitted one inside the other. Tutankhamun's mummy is still in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
The funeral mask of Tutankhamun was placed over the face of the young pharaoh. The pharaoh wears the royal headcloth called the "nemes". It is patterned with stripes of blue glass and gold. The "nemes" is only worn by pharaohs.
Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt
Valley of the Kings East Valley, Thebes West Bank, Thebes.