Despite warnings of a possible curse, archeologists opened the newly-discovered 2,000-year-old sarcophagus. Here's what they found.
- Published On July 20, 2018
Archaeologists in Alexandria, Egypt, have discovered a massive ancient sarcophagus and it’s been taking the world by storm. Here’s what we know so far:
1. The discovery was made during construction work.
Construction workers came across the 30 tonne black granite tomb while on site for a project. It was buried 16 feet beneath the Earth’s surface. Just another day on the job!
2. The sarcophagus is estimated to date from the early Ptolemaic era.
To put that in perspective, that means sometime around 323 BCE.
3. Archeologists were hesitant to open the tomb due to warnings of a possible curse.
Many of these worries come from the events of 1922, when the opening of King Tutankhamun’s tomb was followed by a series of mysterious deaths. However, in the end experts made the decision to ignore the possibility of a curse for curiosity's sake. Opening the 15-tonne lid was no easy task and required assistance from engineers from the Egyptian military.
4. There was talk of the tomb containing the remains of Roman royals, or even Alexander the Great himself.
Due to the unusually large size of the sarcophagus, experts first believed that it may belong to a prominent figure such as Alexander the Great himself or a Roman royal. The sheer size of the sarcophagus, which measures around 9 feet wide and 6 feet tall, suggested that whoever was inside it may have been very important.
5. What they found inside.Upon opening the tomb, archaeologists made the grisly discovery of decomposed mummies covered in sewer leakage. It was also clear to experts that the bodies did not belong to prominent people due to their lack of jewelry or adornment. In addition, the sarcophagus did not have any sort of inscriptions as is expected of important people in history. Going by the evidence, experts believe that the trio were most likely soldiers due to evidence of blows on one of the skulls. The three skulls and the sarcophagus will be analyzed to determine the causes of death and age and more information is expected to come in the next coming weeks.