Sun, 04 Dec 2011
Cartonnage

Cartonnage is the term used in Egyptology and Papyrology for plastered layers of fibre or papyrus, flexible enough for moulding while wet against the irregular surfaces of the body

I saw this at the British Museum the other week. It's very striking.

"During the Roman Period in Egypt, the tradition of providing an eternal image of the deceased over the head of the mummy was maintained in a variety of forms, including panel-portraits, paintings on shrouds, cartonnage masks and moulded plaster heads."

Painted lime plaster mask and skull of a man. Roman period
about AD 100-170 from Hu (Diospolis Parva).