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Opening of ancient sarcophagus in Alexandria

20 July 2018

Egyptian archeologists have opened a 30-tonne black granite sarcophagus to find three decomposed mummies after sewage water apparently leaked inside.

Instead, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities said, the sarcophagus contained what mummification experts believe to be the remains of three military soldiers or officers.

The location of the Greek ruler's remains, who died in 323 BC in Babylon, remains a mystery.

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.

Tomb after lid was removed.

A report in National Geographic reads: "One of the two archaeologists believes that, since Alexandria wasn't even founded until the fourth century BC, the massive sarcophagus may have been brought to the city empty, from an earlier, dynastic-period site down the Nile-such as Memphis-and then re-used to bury someone in later years". Modern technology will be used to help determine their individual ages and what they may have looked like.

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"Unfortunately the mummies inside were not in the best condition and only the bones remain", said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Addressing media fears that disturbing the tomb could trigger an implacable Pharaoh's curse, Mr Waziri declared: "We've opened it and, thank God, the world has not fallen into darkness". "I was the first to put my whole head inside the sarcophagus ... and here I stand before you".

The skull of one is said to show cracks which point to an arrow injury.

Theories had been rattling around that it belonged to Alexander the Great, whose burial place has never been found and the person in which Alexandria is named after. It is three metres long and almost two metres high.

Discovered in the Egyptian city of Alexandria next to an alabaster statue of a man's head, the black granite coffin is thought to come from the Ptolemaic period (323-30 BC) and is nearly 9 feet long, 5 feet wide and 6 feet deep.

Opening of ancient sarcophagus in Alexandria