Workers for the Supreme Council of Antiquities have just discovered a large black box in Alexandria that was found to be a sarcophagus that dates all the way back to the Ptolemaic period of Egypt from between 332 and 30 BC.
According to the International Business Times, the sarcophagus was found buried deeply 16 feet underground while construction was being undertaken on new buildings in the area. Because of the new discovery on Al-Karmili Street, these construction plans have now been stopped, which is the law in Egypt. As this site is now deemed an archaeological one, the owners of the property will need to give their full consent before any buildings are allowed to go up here in the future.
Archaeologists who were called in to examine the 2,000-year-old sarcophagus noticed that there was mortar that had been placed in between the sarcophagus and the lid, which suggests that it has remained untouched since its burial and has not been opened since.
Mostafa Waziri, who works at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has explained that archaeologists currently do not know who was buried in this coffin, but remarked that it contained the bust of a man that was made from marble, and it is believed that this bust was fashioned after the man who was buried in Alexandria.
— IBTimes SG (@IBTimesSG) July 4, 2018
Waziri also noted that given its size, this black granite sarcophagus is the largest sarcophagus that has ever been recovered in Alexandria, making it a very special and priceless archaeological artifact. The sarcophagus has been measured to be 5.4 feet wide, 6 feet tall, and 8.6 feet long.
According to the Daily Mail, in May another Ptolemaic discovery was made in Egypt when a massive Roman bath was found buried at a site known as San El-Hagar. At this location archaeologists were able to recover bronze tools, a statue of a ram and pottery vessels, along with a gold coin that showed the face of King Ptolemy III on it. As Ptolemy was related to Cleopatra, this was a very exciting moment for archaeologists.
Once archaeologists have finished conducting their work on the 2,000-year-old sarcophagus that has been found in Alexandria, they will hopefully be able to provide more information about the identity of the Egyptian man who was buried here during the Ptolemaic period.