CAIRO: The Egyptian-Dominican mission of the Santo Domingo University, headed by Kathleen Martinez and which has been working at the Tabosiris Magna Temple in western Alexandria, has uncovered 16 stone-carved burials.
The mission has revealed several mummies in a poor state of preservation but that nonetheless highlight the characteristics of mummification in Greco-Roman antiquity.
Amulets of gold foil in the form of tongues were placed in the mouths of the mummies as part of a special ritual to ensure the ability of the dead to speak in the other world.
Martinez said the most important finds were two mummies that preserved the remains of scrolls and parts of the cartonnage layer.
The first has remnants of gilding that depict Osiris, god of the other world, while the other wears the Atef crown, decorated with horns and a cobra on the forehead. On the chest is a wide necklace bearing a falcon head, symbol of the deity Horus.
Khaled Abu Al-Hamd, director-general of Alexandria Antiquities, said that during this season, the mission has come across several archaeological finds, the most important of which is a funeral mask for a woman, eight golden flakes, and eight marble masks dating back to classical antiquity.
The items found by the mission in the last 10 years have changed popular perception of the Temple of Tabosiris Magna, where coins bearing the name and image of Queen Cleopatra VII were found.
The foundation panels of the temple suggested it was built by King Ptolemy IV.