Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Mystery 30-ton sarcophagus in Egypt found to contain three mummies

Egyptian archaeologists reveal contents of mysterious giant sarcophagus in Alexandria Authorities open 2,000-year-old sarcophagus, apparently avoid curse
Ellis Copeland | 21 July, 2018, 16:03

Egyptian archaeologists dashed local hopes that the 30-ton black granite coffin - the largest yet found in Alexandria - may contain the remains of Alexander the Great.

The 2,000-year-old black granite sealed tomb was found this month during the construction of an apartment building in the historic Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.

This picture released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows an ancient tomb dating back to the Ptolemaic period found in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria.

Waziri was also quick to dispel the notion that opening the sarcophagus might unleash a curse, a rumour that spread quickly online when the sarcophagus was discovered.

According to the Ministry of Antiquities, the three skeletons inside the sarcophagus may have been soldiers.

The skull of one is said to show cracks which point to an arrow injury.

The skeletons will be removed from that soup and taken to a museum in Alexandria, where they will be examined for clues on how they lived - and died.

Mostafa al-Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the discovery reveals more about the development of pottery manufacturing and the daily lives of ancient Egyptians during that time in history.

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The three mummies, all buried together, were not Ptolemaic or Roman royals.

A sculpture of a head, believed to represent one of the coffin's occupants, was found nearby.

He further pointed out that no evidence such as silver or gold metallic masks, small statues, amulets or inscriptions were found to prove that the mummies belong to a royal family.

When it was opened, it was discovered to contain neither, instead housing only the bones of three mummies.

"The sarcophagus has been opened, but we have not been hit by a curse", Waziri declared, directly addressing internet memes that suggested that the mysterious black box was filled with a Hollywood-style calamity.

Shortly after being unearthed, British news outlets speculated about the tomb's contents and a possible ancient curse, citing a string of deaths after the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb in the early 1900s.

A crack in the side of the sarcophagus caused a flood of red-colored sewage to enter the tomb, triggering the decomposition process.

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