Last week I visited Köln (Cologne) or Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA), and was impressed by the great amount of objects relating to theater and amphitheater, although no remains of such buildings have been discovered in the city yet. This great mask was discovered in 1899, at the Alteburg at Köln. It is 27 x 21 cm, of clay and dates of the 3rd century AD.
More pictures of CCAA can be seen here! In earlier entries I already added pictures of other masks, found at Tarraco and Noviomagus. Of lesser quality, but for actual use and so just as interestering: press (Tarraco) or click (Noviomagus)!
This mask is large enough that an actor could have hidden his face behind it. Its weight, however, makes it unlikely that it was worn during a play. It was more likely hung up as decoration with the help of a ribbon drawn through two holes near the ears. It is strongly modeled. Besides the characteristic big wart above the beaked nose, the circular openings for the eyes and the triangular shape of the mouth with zigzag teeth underlined the comic. It seems that an almost exactly the same mask was excavated in Worms (Augusta Vangionum [fortified by Drusus]), a similar one near Trier (Augusta Treverorum).