Story By: Sara Zhivkova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Unusual mummies with golden “tongues” have been found by archaeologists in ancient rock-cut tombs.
The 16 burial chambers dating back to the Greco-Roman period and containing a number of mummies were discovered in western Alexandria, in Egypt.
While inspecting the artefacts, the archaeologists found golden tongue-shaped amulets in the mouth cavities of the mummies.
According to researchers, the gilded tongues were placed inside the mouth of the person being buried as a part of a ritual.
It was believed that the “tongue” would grant the deceased the ability to speak in the afterlife and then be able to defend themselves in the court of Osiris.
The discovery was made at the Tabosiris Magna Temple in western Alexandria in Egypt and according to archaeologists the style of the chambers indicate that they were from the Greco-Roman period (332 BC -395 AD).
The Egyptian-Dominican mission from the University of Santo Domingo, led by Dr Kathleen Martinez, said the mummies in the tombs were dressed in remnants of gilded cartonnage but were in poor condition.
Cartonnage was a material used in ancient Egyptian funerary masks from the First Intermediate Period to the Roman era that was made of layers of linen or papyrus covered with plaster.
Two of the mummies had ancient scrolls and various ritualistic artefacts on them.
The first mummy contained gilded decorations depicting the god of the underworld Osiris. Another was decorated with horns and a cobra snake centred at the forehead.
A gold necklace worn by one of the mummies showed the head of a falcon, a symbol of the god Horus.
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