A huge black sarcophagus has been discovered in Egypt during an archeological survey along with an eerie alabaster head. The mysterious coffin, which is 265 cm long, 185 cm tall and 165 cm wide, is the largest one ever found in the city of Alexandria, said archaeologists.
The coffin was unearthed from a construction site, where the Egyptian tomb was dismantled and it dated back to the Ptolemaic period. The sarcophagus came up during a constructional dig, which also uncovered a large alabaster head in the same underground tomb. Experts are assuming it represents, whoever is buried in the sarcophagus, though that's yet to be confirmed.
As per the construction laws of Egypt, one needs to excavate the ground beneath their planned developments before building.
The sarcophagus was found five meters beneath the surface of the land, beneath a layer of mortar and was made of black granite. The archaeologists, who find the discovery fascinating is trying to find out what is inside the mysterious coffin without damaging it.
Experts from the Egypt Ministry of Antiquities say that the layer of mortar still intact between the lid and the body of the coffin indicates it hasn't been opened since it was sealed which could be over a 2,000 years ago. They assume that the coffin dates back to around 35 BCE.
In the country, ancient Egyptian tombs are often plundered and damaged by smugglers. The find is considered to be extraordinarily rare as archeologists don't often find a final resting place that's still intact like this one appears to be. The tomb is now under heavy security in order to avoid any damage.
The site as a whole dates back to the Ptolemaic period i.e. between 305 BCE and 30 BCE. This year seems to be very productive for the archaeologists as they unveiled several incredible finds in Egypt.
In February, the archaeologists found a hidden network of tombs in south of Cairo in the Minya Governorate, which like the giant granite sarcophagus have remained untouched for 2,000 years. Experts say it'll take them five years to work through that site.
Again in April, a rare Greco-Roman temple was discovered. It promises to reveal secrets about the Siwa Oasis, one of the most remote settlements in Egypt, including how foreign rule affected the country between 200-300 BCE.
With every discovery, the researchers get a better picture of how people lived and worked in the ancient times.