Egyptian archaeologists have discovered ancient tombs that contained mummies with golden tongues in their mouths, a possible mythological symbol of the afterlife.
Authorities say several mummies were found in the Kewaisna necropolis, a burial site in Egypt with hundreds of tombs from different periods of the country's history. It is believed that their real tongues were removed during embalming and replaced with a golden object so that the deceased could speak to the god Osiris in the afterlife.
In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is the "Lord of the Underworld" and judge of the dead, as well as one of the most important gods of Ancient Egypt.
According to the myth, Osiris, the god of the dead, was killed and cut into pieces, which were scattered throughout Egypt.
Isis, sister and wife of Osiris, was able to resurrect him after she found all the pieces and made her husband whole again.
It is believed that having a golden tongue may have allowed the dead to convince Osiris to show mercy to their soul.
The mummies are in poor condition, according to Dr. Mustafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council for Archeology.
Some of them were found with golden tongues in their mouths, while others were covered with thin sheets of gold and placed in wooden coffins. Others were still covered with gold glaze on the bone directly below the linen wrappings used in the embalming process.
Also found were gold shards shaped like cockroaches and lotus flowers, a number of funerary decorations, stone mortars and ceramics, probably used for embalming.
The discoveries were announced on the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Facebook page*.
The ministry added that the three different levels of the complex show burial rituals that differ from each other.
Golden tongues made of foil are often found among ancient Egyptian mummies. Last February, researchers reported the discovery of a golden-tongued mummy at Taposiris Magna, a 2,000-year-old burial site in Egypt. The temple of Taposiris Magna, whose name in translation means "the great tomb of Osiris", is located near the Egyptian city of Alexandria, once the capital of the country. It is also the supposed location of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt and one of the most famous queens in history.
Earlier, archaeologists reported that they had discovered an underground tunnel under the temple, which likely leads to her long-lost tomb. And two years ago, they reported the discovery of the mummies of two high-ranking ancient Egyptians, one male and one female. These two mummies were also found in poor condition because water had seeped into the tomb. But they were originally covered in gold leaf, a luxury reserved only for the highest members of society's elite, suggesting that they personally interacted with Cleopatra.
Also this year, another group of researchers said they found the oldest known mummies in Sado Valley, Portugal, dating back 8,000 years. However, soft tissues have not been preserved - the bodies are completely skeletonized. This means that they are no longer in a mummified state. After all, technically, a mummy is a dead person or animal whose soft tissues and organs have been preserved.
Photo: Ministry of tourism and monuments
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