Beschlag mit Maske

Archäologische Staatssammlung München


The mounting with a sculptural mask was discovered as a single find in 1984 in the large Celtic oppidum of Manching, an urban settlement. The mounting plate as well as the mask are embossed from sheet bronze. Since the plate is slightly curved vertically and horizontally and given the remains of iron on the two bronze rivets still preserved, it must have been mounted to an iron kettle with a diameter of at least 30 cm. The mask belongs to a multi-figure group of mountings in the shape of faces, which may be found on kettles, jugs, carts and other bases of such objects. A ritual function is frequently ascertained or probable, since depictions of heads and faces were used by the Celts for the entire range between divine image and defensive magic. In addition, there seems to be a connection with the distinctive Celtic cult of the skull. The double spiral under the chin of the Manching mask may be traced back to Etruscan palmetto decoration. The so-called Hathor curls, which hang down next to either temple, may have been derived early on via Pontic artisanal handicraft from the hairstyle of oriental goddesses. It is unclear whether they still mark a supernatural style in their simplification on the Manching mask. The turned-down corners of the mouth and the seemingly closed eyes do not refer to a death mask. The face is not a personal portrait. Celtic masks remain ambivalent.


Archäologische Staatssammlung München

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