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A Hallmark Of Funerary Preparations

Archaeologists have recently been excavating a site near the Quesna Quarries Cemetery in the Delta, located in the Kfour al-Raml area in Egypt’s Monufiya Governorate. During the excavations, they have discovered several ancient mummies with golden tongues! The local media have reported that those mummies are not from the same period, but from different ages. The mission, meanwhile, was carried out in an archaeological compound on the orders of the Supreme Council for Archaeology.

According to reports, the condition of the mummies, recovered from the site near Quesna, is not good. Talking to the media, Mustafa Waziri, the Head of Supreme Council for Archaeology, stressed that the mummies were in a poor state of preservation, meaning their secrets were disintegrating with them. However, the condition of the golden plates, in which mummies are wrapped, did not change much. They almost remain intact even after thousands of years. Egypt Independent has reported that archaeologists also discovered some wooden coffins and copper nails, which were used in those coffins.

Interestingly, archaeologists had discovered the site, where these mummies have been found, way back in 1989. They were of the opinion that the mummification of these people was done during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods (between 300 BCE and 640 CE). In other words, these deceased people were buried at this site from 300 years before the birth of Jesus Christ to 640 years after his death.

The archaeologists found a similar burial site in Egypt in 2021. A number of mummies were recovered from that 2,000-year-old burial site, and some of them were adorned with tongue-shaped ornaments. Although golden tongued mummies have been unearthed before, they are still a mystery. Some mummies had their bones glazed in thin sheets of gold under the linen wrap, while others were simply buried near gold-shaped scarabs and small gold lotus flowers. Experts have opined that the flowers used to symbolise creation and rebirth in ancient Egypt, while the scarabs could probably ensure elements in a mummy were consumed to be then reborn.

It may be noted that excavators discovered a skull with a tongue-shaped ornament framed in its yawning mouth at a 2,000-year-old temple, Taposiris Magna, in western Alexandria. Mummies of a man, a woman and a child, with golden tongues, were also discovered there a few months later, and they were nearly 2,500-year-old. According to experts, the mouth of the deceased was opened during preparation for the afterlife and also during embalming, when the tongue was removed and replaced with a gold object. It was a common practice in ancient Egypt, as it is believed that the gold tongue was for the dead to ask Osiris (the god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion) to show mercy on their souls, and, therefore, no music or sound was made.

In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has mentioned that people from different eras had been buried in this cemetery. Burials were first made here during the Ptolemaic period. During the Roman Empire, burials were made in the same land. As a result, everything, from the type of burial to the direction, is different. Hence, the researchers believe that the burial site had been reused.

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