Fervent historical evidence suggests that ancient Egyptians were some of the most superstitious humans, and they deeply loved everything they owned. After all, it is the Egyptian aristocracy which is often found buried in fancy coffins, mummified, along with their belongings. But, who would have thought Egyptians were buried with a "Tongue of Gold' too!
For years, archaeologists have been obsessed with Egypt, the possible hidden treasure buried with the Kings in their tombs, and the country’s rich history. One such archaeologist, Kathleen Martinez, from the Dominican Republic, has been researching the tomb of Cleopatra for quite a while.
In the search for Cleopatra’s tomb, Kathleen Martinez and her team found 16 mummies that are 2000-years-old buried at Taposiris Magna in western Alexandria, Egypt.
2000-years-old and Tongue of Gold Mummies
The city of Taposiris Magna was founded around 280 B.C. by Ptolemy II, son of Ptolemy I who was Alexanders general. The city’s name translates to “great tomb of Osiris” as Egyptian lore says that the Gods body or part of his body was buried there.
Taposiris Magna is home to many temples dedicated to Osiris and his wife, Isis. The temple where the archaeologists have discovered the ‘Mummy With a Gold Tongue’ is one of Osiris’s many temples.
Fancy Mummy With A Tongue of Gold
The mummies were buried in rock-cut crypts, a popular form of interment during Egypt’s Greco-Roman period. This was proof that the mummies belonged to the 8th century, making it over 2,000 years old. One of the 16 mummies discovered had something not so unusual for mummies belonging to that age.
It had a tongue of gold.
Egyptian Antiquities Ministry released a statement saying that perhaps the embalmers placed the mummy’s golden tongue to make sure that the deceased could “speak” in the afterlife.
Why Put the 'Tongue of Gold' During Burial - Ancient History
Ancient Egyptians believed it that the buried person had a tongue of gold in their coffin, they could speak to the God Osiris- the god of the underworld. Osiris wasn’t always the god of the underworld but was originally the god fertility and agriculture. He was married to his sister Isis (Game of Thrones feels much?).
His brother, Set, murdered him. Set’s wife had impersonated Isis and seduced Osiris and became pregnant with his son. This caused Set to go over the edge and eventually kill Osiris. Isis could bear it and found Osiris’s body and brought him to a Nile Delta region. Set found him and cut Osiris into pieces (literally a transition from life to death) all across the land and swamped him into the Nile.
Isis found out about Sets doing and gathered all parts of her husband to raise him from the dead. Even though he was back from the dead, he was incomplete and could no longer be the King. Hence, he became the ‘Lord and Judge of the Dead’ and the ‘God of the Underworld’.
The Uniqueness of the Mummy With a Tongue of Gold
This particular mummy found by Martinez was buried with a golden tongue because the person possibly had a speaking disability. Along with this mummy, 15 other mummies that are also 2,000 years old, contain ancient Egyptian treasure.
Out of these mummies, two of them were found wrapped in gilded cartonnage, or what appears to be layers of linen or papyrus. One of the two mummies was found with a crown decorated with horns and a cobra on its forehead.
The chest had a golden work in the shape of a necklace with a falcon’s head pendant. This was a symbol of the God Horus, Son of Osiris and Isis. The other mummy was found adorning gold decorations depicting Osiris.
Not Just The Tongue of Gold, More Artefacts As Well
Another finding from this team was a funeral mask for a woman, along with eight golden flakes representing wreath leaves and eight marble masks dating back to the Greek and Roman eras. The researchers also found some statues buried at the site. The statutes were so well preserved that the researchers could make out the hairstyles and headdresses.
An Egyptian archaeologist team is conducting excavations and analysis of the remains at Taposiris Magna along with the University of Santo Domingo on the Dominican Republic is still being continued. Even after thousands of years, the curiosity about early human civilisation remains alive and continues to keep archaeology enthusiasts on seat’s edge.