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Photos: Lost Roman Masks Recreated

Roman Recreation

(Image credit: Drew Fulton)

Wax models cast from the faces of researchers who wanted to recreated Roman ancestor masks.

A Strange Custom

(Image credit: Drew Fulton)

Actors wore these kinds of masks to stand in for dead family members during funeral processions to help piece together entire genealogical lines.

Men Only

(Image credit: Drew Fulton)

Though researchers who worked on this project were women, the right to an ancestor mask was reserved for men only.

Beeswax

(Image credit: Drew Fulton)

These masks, called imagines maiorum, were made from beeswax, which could be an exotic or expensive material if it came from special, faraway sources.

Keeping Up Appearances

(Image credit: Drew Fulton)

Since beeswax is unstable and quite delicate, the ancestor masks likely would have required continual maintenance.