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2e PI Egypt: discovery of gold-tongued mummies near Alexandria - The Times Hub

Egypt: discovery of gold-tongued mummies near Alexandria

Egypt: discovery of gold-tongued mummies near Alexandria

An Egyptian-Dominican archaeological mission has discovered mummies with golden tongues near Alexandria dating back around 2,000 years, Egyptian authorities told AFP on Wednesday.

“The mission made the discovery of sixteen tombs cut in the rock (…) in the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria”, in the north of Egypt, explained the Ministry of Antiquities in a press release, specifying that the technique used was widespread in Greek and Roman times.

Egypt: discovery of gold-tongued mummies near Alexandria

AFP | EGYPTIAN MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES

These tombs contained several mummies “in poor condition” but with “amulets wrapped in gold leaf in the shape of a tongue”.

These were placed in the mouths of the deceased, according to a practice observed elsewhere, “to ensure that they can speak in the afterlife,” said the ministry.

Two mummies have particularly caught the attention of scientists, he said, citing mission director Kathleen Martinez. Asked by AFP, the latter was not immediately reachable Wednesday.

Egypt: discovery of gold-tongued mummies near Alexandria

AFP | EGYPTIAN MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES

The first mummy “preserved strips and parts of the cardboard – layers of glued, stuccoed and painted linen fabric which envelop the mummy – decorated with gilding bearing the effigy of Osiris”, the god of the dead.

And the second wore a “crown adorned with horns and a cobra on the forehead as well as a necklace with a pendant in the shape of a falcon’s head”, representing the Pharaonic god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris.

Egypt: discovery of gold-tongued mummies near Alexandria

AFP | EGYPTIAN MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES

In addition, the mission unearthed a female funeral mask, a gold diadem, eight marble masks with sculpted details, according to Khaled Abu al-Hamd, director of Antiquities of Alexandria, quoted in the statement.

The mission has been excavating for several years west of Alexandria in an attempt to find the tomb of the legendary Queen Cleopatra.

Egypt: discovery of gold-tongued mummies near Alexandria

AFP | EGYPTIAN MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES

However, doubts persist in archaeological circles concerning the probability of finding this burial in these places for lack of “proof”, to date, indicating its presence.

The Ptolemaic dynasty (approximately 330 to 30 BC), of Greek origin, was the last Pharaonic dynasty before Egypt came under Roman rule. Cleopatra was its last sovereign.

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