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Archaeology & History

Secrets of giant Egyptian sarcophagus revealed

By T.K. Randall
August 22, 2018 · Comment icon 167 comments



Who were the three people buried in this coffin ? Image Credit: Facebook / Egypt Ministry of Antiquities
Scientists have started to slowly unravel the mystery of three skeletons found buried in a massive granite coffin.
Measuring a whopping 9ft long, 5ft wide and 6ft tall, the casket, which was unearthed at a building site in Alexandria following a preliminary inspection by a team from Egypt's antiquities ministry, dates back around 2,000 years and is the largest sarcophagus ever discovered in the city.

When archaeologists lifted its lid back in July, they discovered the remains of three skeletons that were partially submerged in a foul-smelling red liquid that was believed to be sewage.

Exactly who these individuals were and why they had been buried in such an enormous coffin was unclear, but now following an analysis of the remains, scientists have started to slowly piece together the answers.

The tomb itself is thought to date back to the Ptolemaic period between 305 B.C. and 30 B.C.
The skeletons belong to a woman who was in her mid 20s, a man who was in his late 30s and a second man who was in his early 40s.

Of particular interest was the discovery of a circular hole in one of the skulls which experts believe is evidence of trepanning - an ancient surgical procedure used to relieve pressure on the brain.

The disgusting liquid they were found in was determined to be a combination of sewage that had leaked in to the coffin and the decomposing remains of the wrappings the bodies were buried in.

Further tests, including a DNA analysis and CT scans, are still to be carried out.

Source: Fox News | Comments (167)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #158 Posted by Seti42 5 years ago
My guess is, runoff water leaked in, and couldn't escape. I don't think it was sewage...I think it was mummy stew. Ick. Outside the sarcophagus, it could drain and/or evaporate. Also, gold amulets have been found. https://twitter.com/luxortimes
Comment icon #159 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
Wouldn't the dirt around it have smelled also?
Comment icon #160 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
Links I found said there were no amulets found. https://www.************/tech/6819115/sarcophagus-egypt-opened-mummy-curse/ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6075691/Egypt-reveals-details-skeletons-inside-sarcophagus.html https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/black-sarcophagus-egypt-archaeologists-age-mummies-alexandira-waziri-sultan-a8499696.html
Comment icon #161 Posted by justin3651 5 years ago
.
Comment icon #162 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
Thinking about these pictures. If that's a sewer and some type of pipe, look how close they came to†this sarcophagus when they installed them. They would have needed to dig that area out well. Weren't there things found outside, like a marble bust. Just a thought.
Comment icon #163 Posted by Swede 5 years ago
Of interest: https://www.livescience.com/63384-black-sarcophagus-alexandria-inions.html .
Comment icon #164 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
This is interesting. The hole drilled in the skull of the male showed signs of having healed long before death. Since it was rarely done in Egypt, could that indicate travel or wealth? This is the first I've heard of the engravings. Interesting indeed!
Comment icon #165 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
If it was Roman, it would have been installed after the Ptolemy's. The sarcophagus is believe to have been buried between 304 BC to 30 BC, when Cleopatra died. Rome attained Egypt on her death.
Comment icon #166 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
No masks until after the sarcophagus was opened. There was no mention of an odor until then although it was uncovered 2 weeks before it was opened.
Comment icon #167 Posted by susieice 5 years ago
I see your points seanjo, but the pit wasn't opened that long and deep enough to be out of direct sunlight. Just still have questions about the sewage.


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