The mask depicts a face of a young and good-looking man. It has been acknowledged that the mask has little to do with actual facial expressions of the king (Renfrew 164). It is a perfect mask of a perfect face. This perfection is achieved through proportionality and, of course, materials used. The eyes are highlighted with the help of lapis lazuli and there are two symbols of the king’s power (cobra and vulture) on the mask.
Admittedly, the mask reveals the power, wealth and glory of the king. More importantly, the mask stands for the divine nature of the pharaoh. According to Ancient Egyptians’ beliefs, pharaohs stopped their earthly existence and turned into gods. Gold was the symbol of this transformation. Therefore, after his death, Tutankhamen was no longer a mortal but became a god and the mask depicted the divine features of the deceased. The major purpose of the mask was to stress the divine nature of the diseased or rather his transformation into a deity.
As far as Lord Pakal is concerned, he was buried in 683 CE (Carrasco 113). Unlike Tutankhamen’s funeral mask, Lord Pakal’s funerary mask is not made of gold. It is primarily made of jade with the use of albite, conch shell, veined quartz, stucco and obsidian. The mask is a mosaic of perfectly fitted stones. Just like the mask of the Egyptian king, the mask of Lord Pakal can be regarded as quite a schematic representation of the great warrior’s face. More so, the prolonged nose (that starts on the forehead) can hardly be a facial feature of the Mayan king.
Again, the mask is not aimed at depicting the actual man but rather the king who transformed into a deity after his death. Precious materials are used to reveal the divine nature of the king. More so, the mask was a symbol of transition from life to death and back as it was a symbol of eternity (Sharer 453). Notably, the elaborate mosaic could also embody another important belief of the Mayas. The people of Mesopotamia believed in