(ORDO NEWS) — In February 2021 an international team of archaeologists carried out excavations of the ancient city of Taposiris Magna near Alexandria. In 16 open rock tombs, researchers found mummies with golden tongues in their mouths.
It has been suggested that replacing the tongue is part of a funeral ritual. During embalming, the real language was removed, but a replacement was given, since without the language the deceased will not be able to talk to the god Osiris when he appears before him.
In early December, Spanish archaeologists working on excavations in Egypt reported that they had discovered new people with golden tongues in the province of Minya. Experts uncovered two tombs: one contained the remains of a man, the other held a woman. The estimated time of death of both is about 2500 years ago. The bodies rested in limestone sarcophagi.
One of the tomb (the one where the woman is buried) has already been opened, at the entrance to it archaeologists have found two human skeletons – possibly robbers. A golden tongue similar to that found in February was found among their bones. What prevented the robbers from leaving the tomb – and, apparently, killed them – is not yet clear. It is clear that due to the opening of the sarcophagus, the remains of the woman were not well preserved.
The second tomb was located next to the first and remained sealed all this time, so the man had a golden tongue where he was placed during embalming. A very rich grave goods were found in the tomb, including jewelry and a figurine of a sacred scarab.
In general, this dung beetle played a special role in the mythology of Egypt, symbolized the movement of the sun, and even the god Khepri was depicted there with his head in the form of a scarab. Sometimes a figurine of a beetle was put into the body of the deceased during embalming, in the place of the heart – there is an assumption that in this way the deceased was prepared for a better life in the afterlife.
But this is only a small part of the finds made in the unbroken tomb. In two special niches of the burial chamber, there were canopic vessels – vessels that served as an indispensable element of the burial rite during embalming. The Egyptians believed that a scarab instead of a heart was not bad, but real internal organs could be useful in the afterlife. True, not all.
Judging by the numerous finds, the stomach, intestines, lungs and liver were recognized as worthy of separate embalming (mind you, there is no heart or brain in the list). It is, of course, impossible to leave these organs inside when preparing the body, so they were placed in canopies (there are just four of them) filled with balm.
In the era of the Old Kingdom, canopies were rarely decorated, but in the times of the Middle Kingdom, vessels began to be covered with carvings and paintings, and the lids were made in the form of human heads. And during the XIX dynasty of the New Kingdom (1292-1186 BC), it was decided to give the canopic lids the shape of the gods, the four sons of Horus .
No less interesting than canopies is the collection of ushabti – special funerary figurines. They were important: the Egyptians believed that in the afterlife, everything is practically the same as in the earthly one. Osiris rules the afterlife, and after death a person becomes his subject. If on earth he obeyed the pharaoh, then in the other world – Osiris, and before him he also bears labor duties.
The thought that after death they would have to cultivate the afterlife fields with the divine king Osiris, upset people. In order for the deceased to avoid such work, the ushabti, the faithful assistants of the Egyptian in the kingdom of the dead, were placed in the burial.
Ushabti is found in almost every Egyptian burial, even the very poor. It is clear that the richer the buried person was, the more figurines were buried with him, the more skillfully they were performed, and the material was more expensive. In the man’s tomb, archaeologists have counted 402 green faience ushabti.
All this suggests that the deceased was a noble and wealthy man. Judging by the fact that the woman’s tomb is located nearby and a golden tongue was also found in it for a conversation with Osiris, these two were somehow connected with each other. And, most likely, before the plundering, the burial of a woman was no less rich.
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