Mummies with Golden Tongues Discovered

Otis Adams
Photo by Shvets Anna from Pexels

Archaeologists have been uncovering mummies with gold tongues in the last year.

A mummy with a gold-foil-wrapped tongue was unearthed in Alexandria, Egypt in early 2021. Two more were recently found in Minya, Egypt.

Osiris, also called Usir, was the Egyptian god responsible for both fertility and the embodiment of the dead. The origins of the myth are unclear, though it is thought he was originally a local god in Busiris. However, by 2400 BCE he was enormously important to the religion of the ancient Egyptians and had taken on his duel role.

Experts think it was believed that these mummified mortals would need golden tongues in order to be allowed to speak in Osiris' court in the afterlife.

The Alexandria mummy was found during an exploration of a site at Taposiris Magna Temple involving 16 burial shafts. The poorly preserved mummies found there are dated back to the Greek and Roman eras.

Kathleen Martinez, who led that University of Santo Domingo archaeological mission, believes two mummies found are particularly important. Osiris is prominent in the decorations of one while the other wore a crown adorned with horns and a cobra. The latter mummy also wore a necklace with a falcon head - a symbol for the Egyptian god Horus.

Also discovered in Alexandria was a woman's burial mask.

The Minya mummies discovery, about ten months later, was led by a University of Barcelona archaeological mission. The site researchers focused on dated back to the era between 664 BCE and 525 BCE - known as the 26th Dynasty.

The bodies were of a man and woman. The woman's coffin had been opened sometime in the past and the items within were not well preserved. The man's tomb remained sealed however, making it a rare discovery.

Neither mummy could be identified. Green beads and three gold amulets shaped like tongues, dated to 30 BCE, were discovered along with the bodies. Two of the tongues were found inside the mummies' mouths while ARTnews reports that the third had belonged to a three-year-old child.

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Author of Lavatory Reader #1: This Road, now available on Amazon. Otis Adams is the author of three books and has won two dozen awards for his screenplays and short fiction. He writes regularly on and can be contacted at

Columbia, MO

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