2000-Year-Old Mummy Has a Golden Tongue

Archeologists, people who study past human life and culture by examining bones, tools, etc., found a 2000-year-old mummy with a golden tongue. They found that mummy at a burial site in Alexandria, Egypt.

The archeologists discovered the mummy along with 15 others at a temple dedicated to Egyptian gods Osiris and Isis. Aside from the mummies, the archeologists also found other treasures such as funeral masks, gold decorations, and marble statues.

Golden tongue mummy
Image Credit-Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Why did the mummy have a golden tongue?

According to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, embalmers probably placed the golden tongue on the mummy to help the dead communicate with gods after death. Ancient Egyptians believed that the dead would need a tongue to speak to Osiris, the god of the underworld, in the afterlife.

It was also possible that the mummy had speech problems when they lived. However, this is still uncertain, and the experts are still trying to confirm this. The scientists also do not know why a replacement tongue would be made of gold.

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What other things did the archeologists find at the temple?

According to lead archeologist Kathleen Martinez, they also found a mummy wearing a crown decorated with horns and a cobra in the middle. This mummy also had a necklace-shaped decoration on its chest. The necklace had a falcon head as a pendant. Experts believe the pendant is a symbol of the Egyptian sun god, Horus. Another mummy had golden decorations of Osiris.

The two mummies were buried with scrolls. Experts are now trying to decode these scrolls.

The archeologists also found several statues. The statues can be traced back to the Greek and Roman eras. The experts believe that the statues resembled their owners. The well-preserved statues clearly show their owners’ hairstyles and facial features.

Who were these mummies?

The discovery of the golden tongue and the other treasures in the burial site suggests that the people buried there were important figures in Egyptian society.

The scientists are still trying to discover the identities of these mummies and the date of their death. They have confirmed, however, that these people lived in either one of two periods. One is during the reign of the Ptolemies in 304 BC–30 BC. The Ptolemies were descendants of one of Alexander the Great’s generals. It’s also possible that they lived during the time of the Roman empire. The Roman empire ruled over Egypt after Cleopatra VII’s death in 30 BC.

After reading the passage, answer the following questions:

  1. What do archeologists do?
  • They study past human life and culture.
  • They study living plants and animals.
  • They study rocks and how they are formed.
  • They study the stars and planets.
Answer: a
  1. According to the text, why did the mummy have a golden tongue?
  • To look cool
  • To speak in the afterlife
  • To keep hidden treasures
  • To eat food in the afterlife
Answer: b
  1. What other things did the archeologists discover in the burial site?
  • Funeral masks
  • Marble statues
  • Gold decorations
  • All of the above
Answer: d
  1. What does the discovery of the golden tongue and other treasures in the burial site mean?
  • The mummies were ordinary citizens of ancient Egypt.
  • The burial site used to be a bank.
  • The people buried there were important figures in ancient Egyptian society.
  • Ancient Egypt had a lot of gold.
Answer: c  

Recommended Reading Age: 8th  Grade

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