Archaeologists open mysterious black sarcophagus found in Alexandria

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Archaeologists open mysterious black sarcophagus found in Alexandria

In this regard, he denied the rumors spread by some worldwide newspapers that opening the sarcophagus would unleash the curse that would bring disaster to the world.

Legends abounded about the sarcophagus, which was first found over 16 feet below ground by construction workers in a residential area of Alexandria earlier this month. The 30-ton tomb was found five metres underground.

Experts had only opened the lid by 5 centimetres when they were forced to leave by the unbearable smell, apparently caused by fetid liquid, the BBC reported.

What Egyptian archaeologists actually found was not so dramatic, but still fascinating and a little disgusting: three decomposed mummies marinating in a soup of dark sewage water that had leaked in through a crack on the side of the casket.

The ancient mummy dates back to the Ptolemaic period between 305BC and 30BC.

The opening of the sarcophagus dashed hopes that it contained the body of Alexander. Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, dismissed claims of dooming the world by releasing whatever spirit was trapped in the tomb: "The sarcophagus has been opened, but we have not been hit by a curse".

The sarcophagus, nearly three metres across and two metres high, is believed to date from the early Ptolemaic period, which began following the death of Alexander in 323BC.

Experts dated the sarcophagus to Egypt's Ptolemaic period, just after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C., or to the era of Roman rule that followed starting in 30 B.C. An alabaster head was found sitting nearby.

The sarcophagus in Alexandria is the latest of a series of interesting archaeological finds this year in Egypt that include a 4,400-year-old tomb in Giza and an ancient necropolis in Minya, south of Cairo.

It is unclear who the tomb belonged at this stage who the tomb belonged to as the Egyptian Ministry of Antiques has carried out research on the outside of the tomb itself and a statue that was found alongside it.

This huge alabaster head was also found during the dig.

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