Archaeologists from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities discovered golden tongued Mummies during excavations in the Menoufia governorate.
The discovery was made at the Quweisna necropolis, a burial site in the central Nile Delta. The site, which was discovered in 1989, is thought to have been occupied during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, which lasted from 300 BCE to 640 CE.
Excavations uncovered a number of mummies, some of which were found with a golden tongue or amulet in the deceased’s mouth. Some of the discovered skeletons have gold-glazed bones.
Experts say that during the embalming process, the deceased’s real tongues were removed and replaced with a piece of gold resembling the organ so that the deceased could speak with Osiris, the ancient Egyptian “Lord of the Underworld.” They think that the tongues also help the dead in tasting all of the goods brought with them into the afterlife.
Other adornments discovered with the golden-tongued mummies were jars, pots, and jewelry. Archaeologists also discovered lotus flowers and golden scarab beetles.
Those performing the burials painted the deceased’s eyes to help them see in the afterlife. The mummies were buried in wooden coffins with brass nails, which archaeologists discovered in pieces.
Mummification techniques have changed over time. Mummies with gold tongues were popular during the Greco-Roman period, that lasted from 332 B.C. to 395 A.D., Salima Ikram, a distinguished professor of Egyptology at The American University in Cairo, told Live Science.
Though scientists are still studying the artifacts, they discovered the mummies in rooms with multiple burial layers, indicating that they were likely used over a long period of time.