A new archaeological discovery in Alexandria
The Egyptian-Dominican mission of the University of Santo
Domingo headed by Dr. Kathleen Martinez, working at the Taposiris Magna Temple
in western Alexandria, succeeded in discovering 16 burials in the rock-cut
tombs (burial shafts) that were popular in the Greek and Roman eras. Within these shafts were a number of mummies
in a poor state of preservation, inside is what highlights the characteristics
of mummification in the Greek and Roman eras, as it was found remnants of
gilded cartonnage in addition to amulets of gold foil in the form of a tongue
that were placed in the mouth of the mummy in a special ritual to ensure their
ability to speak in the after life before the Osirian court.
Martinez explained that among the most important of these mummies are two
mummies that preserved the remains of scrolls and parts of the cartonnage, the
first with remains of gilding and bearing gilded decorations showing the god
Osiris, the god of the after life, while the other mummy wears a crown,
decorated with horns, and the cobra snake at the forehead. The chest of the mummy shows a gilded
decoration representing the wide necklace from which hangs the head of a
falcon, the symbol of the god Horus.
Dr. Khaled Abo El
Hamd, Director General of The Alexandria Antiquities, said that during this
season the mission found a number of archaeological discoveries, the most
important of which is a funeral mask for a woman, eight golden flakes
representing the leaves of a golden wreath, and eight masks of marble dating
back to the Greek and Roman eras, and these masks show high craftsmanship in
Sculpture and depiction of the features of its owners.
It is worth noting
that during the last ten years the mission found an important group of
archaeological finds that changed our perception of the Temple of Taposiris
Magna, where a number of coins bearing the name and image of Queen Cleopatra
VII were found inside the temple walls, in addition to many parts of statues
and temple grounds which were adorned in the past to reveal the temple
foundation panels, which proved that it was built by King Ptolemy IV.