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Secrets of giant Egyptian sarcophagus revealed


Posted on Wednesday, 22 August, 2018 | Comment icon 187 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 (187)

Tags: Egypt, Sarcophagus

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #178 Posted by justin3651 on 23 August, 2018, 2:50
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Comment icon #179 Posted by susieice on 23 August, 2018, 3:35
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 #180 Posted by seanjo on 23 August, 2018, 10:57
What you saw was a pit that has dried out in the Egyptian Sun. Egypt has seasons.  
Comment icon #181 Posted by seanjo on 23 August, 2018, 11:01
Whose to say it didn't, or doesn't? Maybe that's why they never got a whiff until they opened it, because of the pervading smell.
Comment icon #182 Posted by seanjo on 23 August, 2018, 11:09
I'm wondering if the second picture is a Roman Sewer.
Comment icon #183 Posted by Swede on 23 August, 2018, 17:51
Of interest: https://www.livescience.com/63384-black-sarcophagus-alexandria-inions.html .
Comment icon #184 Posted by susieice on 23 August, 2018, 19:53
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 #185 Posted by susieice on 23 August, 2018, 19:55
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 #186 Posted by susieice on 23 August, 2018, 19:57
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 #187 Posted by susieice on 23 August, 2018, 19:59
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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