Archeologists from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities have discovered an enormous black granite sarcophagus in Alexandria, Egypt. The giant stone coffin, which has laid unopened for more than 2,000 years, was discovered by researchers excavating a site for a new building in Alexandria’s bustling Sidi Gaber District. The sarcophagus was found within an ancient tomb dating from the Ptolemaic period, a three-century dynasty of Greek rulers of Egypt that stretched from 305 B.C.E. to 30 B.C.E. No one knows what might be inside it.
What has archeologists really excited is that the original mortar used to seal the sarcophagus closed two millennia ago is still intact. Whatever might have been placed inside more than two thousand years ago is almost certainly still there.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, which announced the find in a recent Facebook post, the sarcophagus which measures 8.3 feet (265 cm) long, 5.4 feet (165 cm) wide, and 6 feet (185 cm) tall, is the largest ever found in Alexandria. Its massive size of suggests that it was probably constructed for someone of high status — just who is an open question.
An alabaster bust of a man, likely the tomb’s owner, was found as well. But, so far no one has worked out who he might be.
The internet, as always, is full of zany theories. Some commenters on Reddit speculate that the sarcophagus contains no less than Alexander the Great himself — either that or a malevolent ancient demon waiting to pop out and unleash devastation upon the world.
To avoid damaging the ancient casket, archeologists will likely try to inspect what’s inside using x-ray imagery rather than opening it. But, they’ll have to get the 30 ton stone box out of the ground first. And, that won’t be easy. In the meantime, we’ll have to be content to wonder.