The English expression that a person being “silver tongued” seems intercultural, as many mummies were recently discovered in Egypt and one with a golden tongue has been buried.
The mummies date back to Greco-Roman Egypt after they came under northern Mediterranean control following the conquests of Alexander the Great and were found in gold-plated sarcophagi buried in the temple’s “wall-hole” stone tombs of Taporis Magna in the city of the same name from the Classical Era.
In these small rooms, the mummies were in poor conditions, which, according to a press release from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, highlights the characteristics of mummies in the Greek and Roman periods.
A gold foil amulet in the shape of a tongue was found in the mummy’s mouth in a special ritual to ensure his ability to speak before the Assyrian palace in the afterlife.
Osiris was the god of the underworld, and it was considered important that people had a way of conversing with him. It’s unclear, but a golden tongue may have been linked to this idea, although the Smithsonian suggests that the deceased may have had difficulty speaking.
The two most important mummies were wrapped in gold papyrus ribbons. One wore Osiris decorations, while the other wore an Atef crown, sporting horns and cobras wrapped around his head, and the breast of an eagle in honor of the god Horus.
The discovery was made by a joint Egyptian-Dominican team led by Dr. Kathleen Martinez.
They also found eight marble masks depicting Roman and Greek-influenced faces in the area in striking detail, and a female funeral mask next to the body.
“In the past 10 years, the mission has uncovered several important archaeological finds that have changed our perception of the Temple of Taposiris Magna,” the ministry said in a statement.
“A number of coins bearing the name and image of Queen Cleopatra VII were found inside the temple walls, in addition to many parts of statues.”