Egyptian archaeologists reveal contents of mysterious giant sarcophagus in Alexandria

Egyptian archaeologists reveal contents of mysterious giant sarcophagus in Alexandria

Archaeologists in Egypt have lifted the lid of the enormous and mysterious black sarcophagus uncovered in a construction site, discovering the remnants of three mummies, a puddle of dank sewage water, and exactly zero pharaonic curses.

A massive black granite sarcophagus has been discovered by archaeologists in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

The 30-tonne coffin, the largest yet found in Alexandria, prompted a swirl of theories in local and worldwide media that it may be the resting place of the ancient Macedonian ruler, who founded the city that still bears his name in 331 BC.

The three skeletons found in the sarcophagus were most likely soldiers, according to Egypt's antiquities ministry, and one skull showed signs of fractures caused by a sharp instrument. Officials believe one of them died from blow to the skull with a sharp instrument, possibly an arrow.

The skeletons will be transferred to the Alexandria National Museum for restoration and further study.

The opening of the sarcophagus dashed hopes that it contained the body of Alexander.

The coffin was "filled with sewage which leaked through the grove in this area, plus three skeletons", Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, reported today in an Arabic-language Facebook update.

Egyptian archaeologists reveal contents of mysterious giant sarcophagus in Alexandria

Mr Waziri also said the mummies had decomposed her being in the ground for thousands of years.

There's been a variety of speculation as to what lay inside the 30-ton black granite tomb, with some suggesting it was the long-lost tomb of Alexander the Great.

Dispelling rumours, Waziri added: "We've opened it and, thank God, the world has not fallen into darkness".

The researchers found an alabaster bust of an unidentified man along with the sarcophagus.

"(The) Ministry of Antiquities and the Egyptian government have procedures (for) checking any building before it is renewed or repaired", Ali said.

Video published online showed the reddish liquid from the coffin later being poured into the suburban street in Alexandria in which the tomb had been found.

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