The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, August 13, 2022


Archaeologists find a mummy with a golden tongue
A human skull with a golden tongue nestled in its jawbone. The tongue, found at a temple on the outskirts of Alexandria, Egypt, was probably meant to help the deceased speak in the afterlife, experts said. Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities via The New York Times.

by Jacey Fortin



NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Archaeologists working at a temple on the outskirts of the Egyptian city of Alexandria have found 16 human burial chambers there, the government’s ministry of tourism and antiquities announced Friday.

At least one contained a human skull with a golden tongue nestled in its jawbone.

The tongue was made of gold foil, according to a statement from the ministry, which added that it was meant to ensure that the deceased person would be able to “speak in the afterlife.”

It was discovered at the temple of Taposiris Magna, which is on the southwestern outskirts of Alexandria, on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. Archaeologists found other golden artifacts, too, including a funeral mask with golden flakes arranged in the shape of a wreath and some gilded decorations depicting Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of the dead.

During the time of the pharaohs, gold was often used to decorate the funereal masks of rulers like King Tutankhamen. It had also been molded to encase the fingers and toes of the dead.

Golden tongues, too, have been found in Egyptian remains before, said Jennifer Houser Wegner, a curator of Egyptian artifacts at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, where several of these tongues are housed.

“For the Egyptians, gold was a material that had qualities of everlastingness,” Wegner said. “It never tarnished. It always shone brilliantly.”

According to the Egyptian ministry of tourism and antiquities, the tongue found at Taposiris Magna was meant to help the deceased converse with Osiris on their way to the afterlife.




The mummies found there were not particularly well-preserved. They date to a period more than 2,000 years ago, when Egypt was ruled by Greek Macedonians and later Romans. The temple itself, according to the ministry, appears to have been built during the reign of King Ptolemy IV, a Macedonian king who ruled in the third century B.C.

Queen Cleopatra VII, who reigned for about two decades before her death in 30 B.C., was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty before the Romans took over, and coins depicting her face have also been found in the temple.

A golden tongue would not have been uncommon in elite burials during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, said Lorelei H. Corcoran, director of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.

“Within an Egyptian funerary context, its reference is to Spell 158 of the Book of the Dead, which ensures that the deceased has the ability to breathe and speak, as well as to eat and drink, in the afterlife,” Corcoran added. “It may be conflated with the Greek funerary practice of placing a coin on or in the mouth of the deceased as payment for the ferryman, Charon, who transported the deceased across the River Styx to the Underworld.”

The team of archaeologists that found the 16 tombs at Taposiris Magna was led by Kathleen Martinez, a lawyer-turned-amateur-archaeologist from the Dominican Republic. The team has been working for years to find Cleopatra’s tomb and had focused its efforts on Taposiris Magna.

But the burial site of the famous queen, who reigned from Alexandria and was said to have died there, has not turned up there yet.

“The stated goal of the Egyptian-Dominican mission is to find the burial of Cleopatra at Taposiris Magna,” Corcoran said. “Many scholars believe, however, that the burial place of Cleopatra was within a royal burial complex, perhaps associated with the palace district, now lost underwater in the Alexandria harbor.”

Representatives of the Egyptian tourism ministry did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the 16 burial tombs at Taposiris Magna. Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that two golden tongues were found there and would be studied at the Alexandria National Museum before being put on display in museums across Egypt.

The latest discovery comes as Egypt is making a concerted effort to draw visitors to the country, which depends heavily on tourism. In recent years, archaeologists have unearthed more than 100 delicately painted wooden coffins at the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, a 4,400-year-old tomb with rare wall paintings near Cairo, and remnants of a colossal Pharaonic statue in the working-class neighborhood of Matariya.

© 2021 The New York Times Company










Today's News

February 5, 2021

Federal aid for closed cultural venues will be a race for cash

Richard Feigen, gallerist and champion of art, dies at 90

Archaeologists find a mummy with a golden tongue

And in the beginning, there was Gordon Parks

Online exhibition explores Palmyra in English and Arabic

The Parrish Art Museum announces Kelly Taxter as next Director

New Orleans Museum of Art announces transformative gift of photography from Dr. Russell Albright

A painter explores his royal roots

Hindman Auctions appoints Jacob Coley as Director and Senior Specialist of the Antiquities Department

Dragon dancers scale up ambitions in Vietnam

Bruce Museum Seaside Center completes Luke's wish crowdfunding campaign for climate change exhibit

Heather Gaudio Fine Art opens an exhibition of works by Martin Kline

Michener Art Museum reopens with reinstalled galleries and brand new exhibition

Heritage Auctions' Weekly Comics Auction breaks record at $621,231

Heritage Auctions to launch new Monthly Showcase Sports Auctions in March

Toledo Museum of Art announces Carlos Picón as Consulting Curator of Ancient Art

Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts awards $400,000 to organizations during pandemic

Shortlist for the 2021 Margaret Tait Award announced

Newfields announces new executive structure

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers announces results of online Estate Fine Art & Antiques auction

Noah Kupferman appointed Director of Business Development of Athena Art Finance

Joan Mitchell Foundation announces launch of new artist fellowship

Christie's announces 'Deep Impact: Lunar, Martian and Other Rare Meteorites'

All the world's a screen? They're used to it

Learn Japanese and Korean: Find an Online Tutor

How To Decorate Your Apartment

Why Painting Can Help You Through the Lockdown Blues

How to make human hair wigs delicate again?

Why Headband wigs Are The Most Popular

Video Editing - How it helps?

Application Reviews Make Bokeh Video Full HD for Android




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful