A mummy had been discovered with a tongue made out of solid gold after archeologists unearthed 16 shafts that were buried 2,000 years ago.
Archeologists who made the discovery at a burial site in Taposiris Magna speculates that the person’s tongue was removed and replaced with the gold as ancient rulers believed that doing so would allow the deceased to speak with Osiris, the God of the dead or ‘Lord of the Underworld.’
The excavation is being led by the University of Santo Domingo, which has been leading archeologists at the site for almost ten years.
The team previously discovered several coins inside the Temple of Taposiris Magna with the face of Queen Cleopatra VII. This suggests that she ruled when many of the people were buried in the rock-cut tombs.
Temple grounds and pieces of statues also suggest that King Ptolemy built the temple.
The mummy with the gold tongue was well-preserved as most of its structure is still complete. Archeologists speculate that the person’s tongue was removed by embalmers and replaced with the gold tongue during a funeral ritual.
Giving the dead a gold tongue may have allowed them to convince the ruler of the underworld to show mercy on their spirit.
Dr. Katleen Martinez, who is leading the excavation, found luxurious trinkets and the statues on the tombs still intact, allowing researchers to see how they may have looked like.
Two of the mummies were discovered with the scrolls, which scholars are now analyzing. One of these bodies also had golden decorations dedicated to Osiris.
Archeologists previously uncovered 27 Egyptian tombs in September. Egypt’s Antiquity Ministry said in a statement at that time: “Initial studies indicate that these coffins are completely closed and haven’t been opened since they were buried.”
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