Archive for July 4th, 2018

Largest sarcophagus in Alexandria found

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

A massive black granite sarcophagus unearthed in the Sidi Gaber district of east Alexandria is the largest ever found in the city. It dates to the Ptolemaic dynasty when the city founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. was the cultural and political capital of Egypt. The sarcophagus is an extraordinary 8.7 feet long, six feet high and 5.4 feet wide.

It was discovered during an archaeological survey at a property on Al-Karmili Street in advance of construction of the foundations of a new building. The sarcophagus was found 16 feet below ground level. Next to it was a heavily eroded head carved out of alabaster.

The sarcophagus is fully intact and the lid and body are still sealed together with a layer of mortar. That leaves open the exciting prospect that the individual laid to rest within it still resides there, perhaps the same individual depicted in the alabaster sculpture.

The site is being secured by to keep it safe from looters. The coffin and head will be removed for study, but special arrangements must be made to raise the massive coffin. The Alexandria Antiquities authority is coordinating with armed forces engineers to recover the artifacts.

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