3 skeletons found in ancient Egyptian sarcophagus

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3 skeletons found in ancient Egyptian sarcophagus

The stone casket was found buried 16 feet below ground, and dates from the Ptolemaic period 2,000 years ago. "Mark Antony died in Alexandria around the same time as the dating of this sarcophagus".

As a result, the three mummies were seriously decomposed, leaving just bones among red-brown sewage water. Some suggested it could contain the remains of a nobleman, or even Alexander the Great.

Despite that, the site has now been cleared of people amid fears the sarcophagus could release lethal toxic fumes, Egypt's state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram says.

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry said that after an initial round of preservation work, the 30-ton sarcophagus will be lifted out from the construction site and transferred to its facilities.

But, the archaeologists were sure that the 2,000-year-old huge sarcophagus was undisturbed, unlike other tombs that were opened and looted.

The granite casket, which had been sealed, was thought to be the largest ever found in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria. "Unfortunately the mummies inside were not in the best condition and only the bones remain", secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, told media. One of the skulls has a crack that could point to the person suffering an arrow attack.

A handout photo made available by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows workers removing sewer water submerging three decomposed mummies after opening the black granite sarcophagus that was discovered in Sidi Gaber district, Alexandria, Egypt, 19 July 2018.

"We've opened it and, thank God, the world has not fallen into darkness", Reuters quoted Waziri as saying.

"I was the first to put my whole head inside the sarcophagus, and here I stand before you - I am fine". But more answers can be expected after forensic examinations, which will take place at the Alexandria National Museum, according to Egyptian state media reports.

The three skeletons found in the sarcophagus were most likely soldiers, according to Egypt's antiquities ministry, and one skull showed signs of fractures caused by a sharp instrument.

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