Over the last ten years, The Egyptian-Dominican mission of the University of Santo Domingo discovered various archaeological finds of significant importance to Temple of Taposiris Magna in West Alexandria. On the 30th of January, the mission, spearheaded by archaeologist Kathleen Martinez and experts from the University of Santo Domingo, uncovered a further 16 burials in rock-cut tombs with a number of mummies in a poor state of preservation found in the shafts.
The tombs’ structure and characteristics of the mummification process were identified to belong to Egypt’s Greco-Roman era. Martinez stated the importance of two particular mummies. One was found with the remains of scrolls and gilded decorations depicting the ancient Egyptian god Osiris, with amulets of gold foil in the form of a tongue, placed in the mummy’s mouth. It is said to have been used in a special ritual to ensure the capacity to speak in the afterlife at the Osirian court. The other mummy was found wearing a crown with horns and a cobra snake at the forehead, and a gilded decoration was found on the chest, representing a wide necklace from which hangs the head of Horus, the falcon god.
The mission was also accompanied by Khaled Abo El Hamd, Director General of the antiquities authority in Alexandria. He added that the mission also found other discoveries during this season, including eight golden leaves representing the foliage of a golden wreath, a funeral mask for women, and eight masks of marble. All masks illustrated a high level of craftsmanship in sculpture, and all discoveries also date back to the Greek-Roman eras.
Some of the more significant finds at the temple include many pieces of statues and coins bearing the name and image of queen Cleopatra VII inside the temple walls. The grounds were also proven to have been built by the extravagant King Ptolemy IV, the fourth pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 221 BC to 204 BC.