Mummies with golden tongues discovered in ancient Egyptian necropolis

Mummies with golden tongues discovered in ancient Egyptian necropolis 1

An Egyptian archaeological mission has discovered several burials containing mummies with golden tongues in the ancient necropolis of Quesna, an archaeological site belonging to the Governorate of Menufia, north of Cairo.

The remains of one of the mummies found in the necropolis near Quesna, Egypt.
The remains of one of the mummies found in the necropolis near Quesna, Egypt. © Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

According to a statement issued by Dr. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, archaeologists found poorly preserved golden plaques in the shape of human tongues in the mouths of some of the digs during the current excavation season. bodies. In addition, they discovered that some skeletons and mummies were bound with gold on the bone directly below the linen wrappings.

An annotated image shows the gold tongue discovered in the Qewaisna necropolis in Egypt.
An annotated image shows the gold tongue discovered in the Qewaisna necropolis in Egypt. © Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

It is not the first time that a finding of these characteristics has been found in Egypt. At the start of 2021, researchers digging at a 2,000-year-old site in Egypt uncovered a skull with a gleaming tongue-shaped ornament framed in its yawning mouth.

The 2,000-year-old mummy with a gold tongue
The 2,000-year-old mummy with a gold tongue © Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

At the end of 2021, archaeologists from the University of Barcelona discovered two tombs at the site of the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus (El-Bahnasa, Minia), about 200 kilometers south of Cairo. Inside the sarcophagi were the remains of a man, a woman, and a 3-year-old child, whose tongues had been replaced by the embalmers with gold foil.

According to ancient Egyptian religion, the golden tongues allowed spirits to communicate with Osiris, the god of the underworld.

The researchers were excavating a part of the burial complex and discovered new areas: a burial shaft with two rooms on the west side, as well as a main vault running from north to south and three burial chambers with vaulted ceilings running from east to west. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Sector of Egyptian Antiquities of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that it is distinguished by a unique architectural style, since it was built with mud bricks.

Mummies were found in the Qewaisna necropolis, a burial site in Egypt that has hundreds of tombs from different periods in the country's history
Mummies were found in the Qewaisna necropolis, a burial site in Egypt that has hundreds of tombs from different periods in the country’s history © Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Ashmawy added that the excavations revealed that the cemetery was used during three different periods, since the archaeological findings found inside and the funeral customs at each burial level were different, so they consider it likely that the necropolis was reused at from Ptolemaic times and Roman times.

The mission also succeeded in uncovering a number of gold shards in the shape of beetles and lotus flowers, as well as several funerary amulets, stone scarabs, and ceramic vessels that were used in the mummification process.

Mummies with golden tongues discovered in ancient Egyptian necropolis 2
Golden shards were also found on the bones of some of the remains © Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Excavation and analysis of the remains at Quesna are ongoing. It is not yet clear how many mummies with gold tongues were found and whether the deceased’s identities are known.

Previous Article
Discovery of the temple of Poseidon located at the Kleidi site near Samikon in Greece 3

Discovery of the temple of Poseidon located at the Kleidi site near Samikon in Greece

Next Article
Ancient Minoan giant double axes. Image credit: Woodlandbard.com

Giant ancient Minoan axes – what were they used for?