Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Archaeologists Find 2,000-Year-Old Mummies With Golden Tongues In Egypt

A recent find at the temple of Taposiris Magna in Egypt has uncovered a 2,000-year-old mummy with a golden tongue. In total, the expedition found 16 burials in rock-cut tombs from the Greco-Roman era.

The tombs were poorly preserved, but several amulets, including the tongue, were found. The gold tongue was placed in the mouth of one of the mummies. It is believed to have been part of a special ritual designed to allow the person to speak in the afterlife.

Embalmers likely placed the tongue.

It is believed that the gold tongue would have allowed the deceased to talk to the god Osiris, who is the god of the underworld. It isn’t clear why the person would have needed the tongue to speak.

It is speculated that the mummy might have had a speech impediment or some other difficulty talking when alive. The tongue might have been given to them to allow them to overcome such a challenge in the afterlife.

Taposiris Magna was founded in 280 B.C.

The city was built to honor Osiris. The name of the city actually translates as “great tomb of Osiris”. It was believed that Osiris, or part of his body, was buried there.

As such, Taporsiris Magna had several temples devoted to either him or Isis, who is this wife and sister (FYI Isis is also the god who helped the women of Egypt invent beer, so we owe her a lot!). The mummy with the golden tongue was found in one of the sites honoring Osiris.

The exact age of the mummies is unknown.

It is estimated that they would have been entombed around 304 B.C. to 30 B.C. The tomb has many different statues that suggest the Greco-Roman era. There were also coins left in the tomb that are decorated with the image of Cleopatra VII, which suggests the tombs were built around the time of her reign.

The researchers think the tomb was created either when the Ptolemies were in charge, or immediately after when the Roman Empire took over.

Other treasures were also found.

Several other mummies were buried with masks or other gold adornments. Some even had scrolls. The scrolls are currently being analyzed, so we do not know what they say yet. There might be more discoveries hidden in the scrolls.

They could provide us with a window into the lives of the people buried in the tomb. The excavation is ongoing, so we will have to wait on that mystery.

h/t: Live Science

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