Ancient Egyptian mummies were found with gold tongues meant to help them talk with the god of the underworld

An annotated image shows a tongue-shaped gold item, and read "Gold tongue"
An annotated image shows the gold tongue discovered in the Qewaisna necropolis in Egypt.Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt/Insider
  • Ancient Egyptian mummies were discovered buried with gold tongues in their mouths.

  • It is thought this was to allow the deceased to speak with the god Osiris.

  • Some of the mummies were also originally coated with gold flakes.

Ancient Egyptian mummies have been discovered with golden tongues inserted in their mouths.

Researchers believe they were meant to help the dead talk with Osiris, the god of the underworld, per The Daily Mail. 

The mummies were found in the Quewaisna necropolis, about 40 miles south of Cairo in Egypt, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a Facebook post on November 24.

It is the latest in a series of mummies found with gold tongues in the mouth.

Last year, archaeologists reported finding mummies with gold tongues twice, once in El Bahnasa, about 136 miles south of Cairo, and once in Alexandria.

Those mummies were about 2,500 and about 2,000 years old respectively.

egypt alexandria
A 2000 year-old mummy found with a gold tongue in its mouth in Alexandria.Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Archeology, said the mummies in the Quewaisna necropolis were in a poor state of preservation.

Gold flakes were also found on the bones of some of the remains, per the Facebook post, suggesting their bodies were sprinkled with gold.

Some of the flakes were shaped into lotus flowers or scarabs, ARTNews reported. 

Gold flakes found near the bodies are shown.
Gold flakes found near the bodies are shown.Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt

It's not clear when the mummies were buried, as the cemetery was used during three distinct historical periods: the Ptolemaic period, and two phases in the Roman era.

Amulets, figurines, and pottery, were also found at the site.

Ancient Egyptians believed the deceased could take items with them in the afterlife, so often buired them with objects meant to help.

Deceased dignitaries have been found buried with mummified food, mummified animals, protective amulets and figurines, elaborate face masks, and even boats.

Eye inserts found at the site.
Eye inserts found at the site.Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt

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