An Egyptian-Dominican archaeological mission operating at the Taposiris Magna temple in western Alexandria has discovered 16 new rock-hewn tomb shafts from the Greco-Roman period (2000 years ago).
A number of mummies that are in poor condition were found inside these shafts with pieces of gilded cardboard and gold foil charms placed in their mouth as a tongue. The use of gold may suggest the high status of the people who were buried. The corpse embalmed with the tongue in its mouth prompted researchers to understand that the deceased was buried in this way so that he could talk to the gods after death. It is part of a special ritual that allowed the deceased to speak in the afterlife while being tried by an Osirian court.
Dr. Kathleen Martinez, the head of the mission, noted two mummies buried with remains of scrolls and pieces of cardboard. One mummy had gilded decorations depicting the god Osiris, the god of the underworld, while the other mummy wore a crown adorned with horns and a snake cobra.
They also discovered a wide range of archaeological materials, including a woman's funeral mask, gold coins bearing the image of Cleopatra VII, eight gold petals and eight high-quality marble masks.
The team have been on-site for over 10 years and has discovered many materials from the reign of the famous Queen Cleopatra. Dr. Kathleen Martinez is searching for the tomb of Cleopatra VII and her husband Mark Antony in Taposiris Magna.
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