Strange discovery in Egypt: Mummies found with solid gold tongues

The preserved corpses are from 300 and 640 BCE and were discovered at the Quweisna necropolis.

ANIUpdated: Monday, December 05, 2022, 05:49 PM IST
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Strange discovery in Egypt: Mummies found with solid gold tongues | Representative pic

Archaeologists in Egypt have found many ancient mummies with solid-gold tongues in their mouths.

The strange discovery was made when preserved corpses from 300 and 640 BCE were discovered at the Quweisna necropolis in the central Nile Delta, roughly 40 miles north of Cairo, as per the New York Post. 

Experts investigating tombs at the site found several mummies with gold chips shaped like human tongues in their mouths, said Dr Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Archeology, in a press release, as quoted by New York Post. 

Tongues replaced during embalming process

Experts say that during the embalming process, the deceased's real tongues were removed and replaced with a piece of gold mimicking the organ so that the deceased might communicate with Osiris, the ancient Egyptian "Lord of the Underworld." Several mummies were discovered with gold on the bone immediately beneath the linen wraps used during the mummification process, according to Waziri.

Mummies in bad condition

At the ancient cemetery, gold chips fashioned into scarab beetles and lotus flowers were discovered, as well as funerary amulets, earthenware, glues and tar used in the embalming process, the remains of human-shaped wooden coffins, and several copper nails.

The Quweisna necropolis was discovered in 1989, prompting multiple rounds of excavations over the next three decades, as per The Post. 

The golden-tongued mummies were uncovered in a freshly discovered extension of the cemetery, which housed cadavers from three separate historical periods.

According to Dr Ayman Ashmawi, chairman of the Egyptian archaeology sector at the Supreme Council of Archeology, each burial level revealed evidence of different rites and methods of burying the mummies.

This is not the first time that expensive metal-encrusted mummies have been uncovered in Egypt.

According to a New York Post report, in 2021, archaeologists discovered a 2,000-year-old skull with a tongue-shaped gold chip in its gaping mouth at Taposiris Magna, a site near Alexandria known as the "Great Tomb of Osiris."

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