Egypt starts opening ‘mysterious’ sarcophagus in Alexandria



Thu, 19 Jul 2018 - 11:00 GMT


Thu, 19 Jul 2018 - 11:00 GMT

A 30-ton archaeological sarcophagus was found below a building in Alexandria governorate, Egypt - Ministry of Antiquities official Facebook page

A 30-ton archaeological sarcophagus was found below a building in Alexandria governorate, Egypt - Ministry of Antiquities official Facebook page

CAIRO – 19 July 2018: Egypt started opening the mysterious sarcophagus unearthed 20 days ago in Alexandria, amid rumors over a "possible curse" that could be cast on the world once the sarcophagus is opened.

The archaeological team, assigned to supervise the opening of the mysterious sarcophagus uncovered in Alexandria, found a red liquid and equipments used to remove the liquid; they also took samples for analysis.

The coffin was left for an hour after its lid had been opened to get rid of the bad odor the tomb emanated.

A committee, assigned by the Ministry of Antiquities to supervise the newly-discovered sarcophagus, is currently opening the 2000-year-old sarcophagus, an official at Alexandria Antiquities Office told Egypt Today on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to brief the media.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri inspected on Thursday the Ptolemaic tomb to check the lifting works of the sarcophagus, the official added.

The mysterious 30-ton archaeological sarcophagus belongs to a priest not to a king or an emperor as it does not have inscriptions, Waziri revealed in media remarks on Tuesday.

In a telephone call with “Public Opinion” TV program on Ten, Waziri denied the rumors spread which refer that opening the sarcophagus will cast the "curse of the pharaohs" on the world. He further added that the tomb dates back to 4000 or 3000 BC, and it will be opened in the upcoming period; media will be invited to cover the event.

Since its discovery, the mysterious tomb has internationally grasped the attention, and several international websites warned of its opening as it would be “a risky business or so history tells us” for the possibility of unleashing the curse that would bring disaster to the world, as remarked by the British news website The Sun.

“BAFFLED archaeologists who found a 2,000-year-old mysterious black granite tomb in an Egyptian city where Alexander the Great is believed to be buried have pried it open two weeks after it was dug up,” according to the British news website Express.

Inspection of the sarcophagus revealed that it is made of black granite of about 265 meters in length and 185 cm in height; the security forces coordinated with the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces, as well as the Tourism Police, to extract the sarcophagus.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the tomb was found at a depth of 5 meters beneath the surface of the land. It is noted that there is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus, indicating that it had not been opened before.

Alexandria is full of ancient Egyptian antiquities, which makes citizens illegally dig to search for these monuments below their buildings.

In 2015, the security forces arrested three brothers with 35 artifacts in their possession; the brothers were digging below their homes in search for more artifacts.



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