New discoveries and research are helping us learn more about the ancient past.

By Andrea Romano
February 11, 2021
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Workers excavate an archaeological site in Egypt
Credit: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty

A new discovery in Egypt includes mummies with some rather unique accessories.

According to CNN, archeologists from the University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic unearthed 16 new burial shafts in the Taposiris Magna Temple. The team, led by Dr. Kathleen Martinez, have been working at the site for years and finding intriguing new clues to Egypt's past, including finding mummies of "high status" individuals that could provide clues to the whereabouts of Cleopatra's tomb back in July 2020.

This more recent discovery found mummies from the Greek and Roman eras, which were in "poor condition," according to CNN, but had some fascinating objects buried with them.

According to a Facebook post by Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, researchers found "amulets of gold foil in the form of a tongue that were placed in the mouth of the mummy." The post explains that the golden tongues were "a special ritual to ensure their ability to speak in the after life before the Osirian court."

But, according to the Facebook post, Martinez noted two specific mummies that were of special significance. One of these mummies had been buried with "the remains of scrolls and parts of the cartonnage," which depicted gilded decorations in honor of the god Osiris. The other wore a crown "decorated with horns, and the cobra snake at the forehead," as well as a necklace that had a pendant in the shape of a falcon's head, the symbol for the god Horus.

In addition, the researchers found a funeral mask for a woman decorated with a wreath of gold leaves and eight additional funeral masks made of marble, according to CNN. "These masks show high craftsmanship in sculpture and depiction of the features of its owners," it says on the Facebook post.

With so many fascinating (and unique) finds, the mission to excavate Taposiris Magna Temple could uncover so many more clues to the ancient world in the next few years.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.