Ministry of Antiquities Reveals Details of Skeletons Found Inside Alexandria’s Sarcophagus

Photo of Sarcophagus. © Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

Remember the mysterious tomb that everyone thought might belong to Alexander the Great because sarcophagi (sarcophagus) are rarely found intact or undamaged in Alexandria? Well, the Ministry of Antiquities have released all the details about the skeletons they had found earlier in July.

Despite the ominous theories and warnings of ancient curses, which had surfaced social media when the sarcophagus was found, the Sidi Gaber tomb was opened revealing three skeletons floating in a disgusting unidentified fluid.

Through their official Facebook page, the ministry announced that the preliminary studies carried out by a team of researchers headed by Dr. Zeinab Hasheesh, Director of the ‘Department of the Skeleton Remains Studies’ at the Ministry of Antiquities, have determined the gender, and age of the skeletons found inside the Alexandria sarcophagus. The team had also found gold sheets within the bones of the skeletons and are now being studied in detail.

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According to Dr. Nadia Kheidar, Head of the Central Department of Antiquities of Lower Egypt, the first skeleton belongs to a woman between the age of 20 to 25 years old, with a height around 160 to 164 cm.  The second one belongs to a man between the age of 35 to 39 years old, with a height ranging between 160 to 165.5 cm while the third skeleton is for a man between the age of 40 and 44 years old and its height was between 179 to 184.5 cm.

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One of the Skulls also had a rounded cavity of 17 cm wide, which reveals that the owner of this skull has survived a long period with this cavity. This means that the cavity is a result of a “Trepanation” surgery.

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“Trepanation” surgery is one where a burr hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull.
“This surgery is the oldest surgical intervention ever known since pre-history but was rare in Egypt,” Dr. Hashish said.

As for the strange reddish color of the surrounding water, Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said that it most probably resulted from the mixing of the sewage water that filled the sarcophagus with the remains of the skeletons’ wrappings.

So, the 32,659 (at the time of this writing) people who’ve signed a Change.org petition to drink the red coffin juice in order to “assume its powers and finally die.”, I guess you’ll just have to stick around a while longer. 

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