Ancient mummies with golden tongues unearthed in Egypt

Ancient mummies with golden tongues unearthed in Egypt”

Previously, archaeologists found a hoard of coins decorated with the face of Cleopatra VII, suggesting the temples were in use during the queen's reign.

The other 15 burial sites, which also date back about 2,000 years, reportedly include finds such as a female mummy "wearing a death mask that covers much of her body and depicts her with a headdress while smiling", and the remains of scrolls that were found buried together with two of the mummies.

An Egyptian-Dominican team, from the University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, was working at the Taposiris Magna temple in western Alexandria when the remains of 16 ancient Egyptians were found buried in rock tombs.

The skeleton with the gold tongue was found to be well-preserved, as its skull and most of its structure is still intact.

Also, the pieces of statues and the temple grounds reveal that King Ptolemy IV built this wonderful temple. It's also not clear why the tongue was made out of gold specifically. In Egyptian mythology, Osiris was the god of the afterlife, as well as fertility and agriculture. Osiris is said to rule over the underworld and would judge the spirits of those who had died.

The other burials were not as preserved, but Dr. Martinez uncovered a number of statues and luxurious trinkets which are still unharmed, allowing experts to know more about the people of that era.

The remains of a cartonnage that encased a female mummy found in the tombs at Alexandria's Taposiris Magna temple

The gilded decorations on the cartonnage around a second mummy's head depicted a crown, horns and a cobra snake, she added.

Embalmers perhaps placed the golden tongue on the mummy to ensure that the deceased would be able to speak in the afterlife, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said in a statement released Jan 29.

It is thought a range of chemicals were used to embalm and preserve the bodies of the dead in ancient cultures.

Hair was treated with a balm made of a combination of beef fat, castor oil, beeswax and pine gum and with a drop of aromatic pistachio oil as an optional extra.

Mummification in ancient Egypt wasn't a regular burial.

The mummies were poorly preserved and characteristic of their era, which came long after the heyday of Egypt's pyramid-building old dynasties.

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