A new archaeological discovery in Alexandria

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.  

Dr. Kathleen 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.