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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fayum portraits are depictions of greek settlers

Portrait of a Woman with a fillet, This panel of the second century A.D is from the Fayum, an Egyptian oasis where many Greeks settled during the Ptolemaic Period. The Greek settlers adopted some Egyptian customs, including mummification. Painted panels such as this served the function of the traditional mummy mask. The portraits on them, however, depicted current Mediterranean fashions, which accounts for the style of the jewelry. Fillets were worn from early Greek o late Roman times, being conferred by the state a mask of honor or worn in religious processions.They were also used for funeral purposes, placed on the brow of the dead as a token of the person's victory in the battle of life. The type shown here was made of thin gold, cut and pressed to resemble leaves and formed into wreaths with wires for stems.

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