Scientists have recently discovered a black granite sarcophagus in Sidi Gaber region of Alexandra, Egypt. According to the Huffington Post, the sarcophagus is reportedly the largest ever discovered in the region, measuring “72.8 inches by 104.3 inches by 65 inches.” The sarcophagus was sealed with a “layer of mortar” and appears to be about 2,000 years old. Scientists are surprised at the find and the fact that the sarcophagus has been seemingly undisturbed. Most tombs in the region have been looted over the centuries, preventing scientists from determining final resting places.
The Egyptian Museum of Iniquities released a statement on the discovery, saying, “An Egyptian archaeological mission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities uncovered an ancient tomb dating back to the Ptolemaic period. Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that the tomb was found at a depth of 5 m beneath the surface of the land.”
The sarcophagus is believed to date back to the Ptolemaic period, where Ptolemy of Lagus and his ancestors ruled from 305 BC to 30 BC. According to the Smithsonian, it was discovered as authorities were preparing the area for new building construction. Egyptian law dictates that any new construction planned in the city must “commission an archaeological dig” due to the historical relevance of the city and its monuments, according to the Express. It was during one of these excavations that they found the sarcophagus 16 feet underground. An alabaster bust of what is believed to be a “depiction of the body in the coffin” was also discovered in the tomb.
Though this is the largest sarcophagus discovered in Alexandria, it is by no means the only one. In 2005, the remains of the University of Alexandria was discovered. In addition, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pharos Lighthouse, was also discovered in Alexandria’s harbor in 1994. The Pharos was “built by the Ptolemies,” with construction believed to have started in 280 B.C.
At the moment, it is unknown as to who may be buried in the granite sarcophagus.
As news broke about the discovery, Twitter was abuzz with speculation as to what or who could be in the sarcophagus, according to Bustle. Reactions varied, with some calling for Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz (who played Rick and Evelyn in The Mummy franchise) to investigate. “I know how this one goes,” tweeted author Neil Gaiman. Some even suggested that the sarcophagus could be that of Alexander the Great.