Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Opening of ancient sarcophagus in Alexandria

Opening of ancient sarcophagus in Alexandria

Egyptian archaeologists have dashed hopes that a newly-discovered ancient sarcophagus might contain the remains of Alexander the Great, finding instead what appeared to be a mummified family of three swimming in red liquid.

Archaeologists in Egypt pried open a mysterious, 2,000-year-old sarcophagus found in the port city of Alexandria earlier this month. In one update, Waziri shut down speculation that one of the decomposed mummies was Alexander The Great.

Bones in sarcophagus
Ancient bones sit in a pool of sewage water inside an Egyptian sarcophagus

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities had appointed a committee of archaeologists to open the relic, which was unearthed at a construction site.

Also found inside the 50-tonne coffin was a significant amount of sewage which had leaked its way inside over two millennia.

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Experts on the scene were forced to retreat due to the ancient stench, and military engineers were deployed to crack that bad boy wide open.

"We found the bones of three people, in what looks like a family burial", said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, according to the BBC. But according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, the three skeletons found inside are probably those of warriors. Officials believe one of them died from blow to the skull with a sharp instrument, possibly an arrow. Some observers thought it may contain the corpse of Alexander the Great, as the sarcophagus dates back to the early Ptolemaic period, or around 323 B.C., which began following Alexander's death. "I was the first to put my whole head inside the sarcophagus ... and here I stand before you".

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The world has been transfixed by the unopened 2,000-year-old sarcophagus since it was discovered in Alexandria several weeks ago, with some internet users warning Egypt not to open it for fear of unleashing an ancient curse.

The skeletons will be studied further at a restoration museum, while the sarcophagus itself will preserved for historical purposes.

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The granite sarcophagus was the largest ever found in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria and had everyone scratching their heads and asking the same question: what could possibly be inside?

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