The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that archaeologists have discovered 16 human tombs in a temple on the outskirts of Alexandria. Two of the buried people had a golden tongue embedded in their jawbone. According to the statement, the purpose of using the golden tongues was to enable the deceased to speak in the afterlife!
The tongues are found in the temple of Taposiris Magna, in the southwestern suburbs of Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. Archaeologists have unearthed other gold ornaments, such as burial masks adorned with golden wreath-shaped shells, as well as a number of gilded ornaments from Osiris, the god of death in ancient Egypt.
During the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, gold was often used to decorate the masks of rulers such as Tutankhamun. And it was even molded to include the dead man’s fingers and toes.
“Golden tongues have already been found in the ruins of Egyptian sites,” said Jennifer House Wegner, curator of Egyptian art at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. “For the Egyptians, gold was a substance that had the property of immortality, it was never stained and it was always shiny.” However, a number of golden languages found in this museum are kept.
According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the languages found at Taporis Magna were used so that the dead could talk to Osiris on his way to the afterlife.
The mummies found in the area are more than 2,000 years old and date back to the time when Egypt was ruled by the Greco-Macedonians and then the Romans. The temple itself was built during the reign of Ptolemy IV, king of Macedonia in the third century BC.
Queen Cleopatra VII, who reigned for two decades in 30 BC, was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty before the Romans seized power. Coins with his image have also been found inside the temple.
“In the Roman period, the use of golden tongues in the burial of the upper classes was not uncommon,” said Lorelei H. Corcoran, director of the Egyptian Institute of Art and Archeology at the University of Memphis. Citing excerpts from the Book of the Dead, he adds: “In an Egyptian burial ground, it is ensured that the dead are able to breathe, speak, as well as eat and drink. “It is possible that this practice was combined with the burial tradition in Greece, where a coin was placed under the tongue of the deceased as payment to Charon.”
In Greek mythology, Charon is a boatman who crosses the Styx River to the underworld.
The team of archaeologists who have so far managed to find 16 tombs in Taposiris Magna is led by Kathleen Martinez from the Dominican Republic. The team has been exploring the temple for several years, searching for Cleopatra’s tomb.
“It ‘s amazing that mummies have a golden tongue,” says Martinez. Very little is known about the Greco-Roman period in Alexandria. “Recent discoveries in the City of the Dead (Necropolis) are not only extraordinary, but also show that many secrets are about to be discovered.”
He still hopes to find the tomb of Cleopatra – the famous queen who ruled from Alexandria and is said to have died there – in Taposiris Magna.
Lorelei H. Corcoran says: “Although the team aims to discover Cleopatra’s tomb in the Taposiris Magna temple, many scholars believe that Cleopatra’s burial site is inside a royal burial complex, possibly connected to the palace area, which is now in the port of Alexandria. “It is submerged.”
The Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that the two discovered golden languages will be studied at the National Museum of Alexandria before being displayed in museums throughout Egypt.
Egypt is trying to attract more visitors to its country. In recent years, archaeologists have uncovered more than 100 wooden coffins painted in Saqqara, a 4,400-year-old tomb with rare murals in Cairo, and the remains of a huge pharaonic statue.