Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Egypt mystery sarcophagus: Who is inside the coffin? Why did the world fear a curse?

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have opened a 2,000-year-old sarcophagus to solve the mystery of its inhabitant. Who is actually inside the coffin? Why did the world fear a curse?

Archaeologists opened the coffin and found more than they bargained for (Image: REUTERS)

An untouched black granite sarcophagus was unearthed two weeks ago by archaeologists in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

Construction workers first discovered the ancient coffin, with an alabaster bust buried next to it.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiques appointed a group of archaeologists to carefully open the sarcophagus and find out who or what is inside.
This both excited and terrified people around the world, as many believed the coffin could contain either the lost remains of Alexander the Great or a deadly curse.

Who is actually inside the coffin?

The archaeologists carefully pried open the sarcophagus, only managing to lift the lid 5cm before the horrific stench forced them to close it again according to Egyptian news outlet El-Watan.

Egyptian military engineers later helped them to open the sarcophagus completely - and the experts found more than expected.

Inside were the putrified remains of three people, sat in filthy red sewage water.

"We found the bones of three people, in what looks like a family burial... 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.

Experts now believe the three skeletons belong to Egyptian soldiers who may have worked in the time of the Pharaohs.

One of the skulls appears to show cracks consistent with an arrow injury which may have been a cause of death.

The site has now been cleared as it is feared the sarcophagus could release toxic fumes according to Egypt state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.

The alabaster bust found alongside the coffin is also being examined but appears to be too weathered to reveal who it was of.


The area around the coffin has been evacuated for fears of toxic fumes (Image: REUTERS)

Many feared of the repercussions of opening the coffin (Image: REUTERS)
Why did the world fear a deadly curse?

Films such as The Mummy may have had something to do with the belief that the sarcophagus could hold a deadly curse.

The Mummy franchise sees daring explorers venture into ancient tombs and pyramids in Egypt, unleashing a barrage of curses and reanimated mummies in the process.

Twitter users posted their fears with one saying: “Egyptologists are preparing to open a recently discovered Black granite sarcophagus that has sat undisturbed for 2,000 years... what could go wrong?! You’ll know its open when you see a big black cloud creeping over the city..”

However, secretary-general Mr Waziri had no such fears: "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 ... I am fine."

However, some believe that this just means the curse is yet to make itself known.

One Twitter user said: “all these people saying "see, no curse!" right after opening that sarcophagus like are you a curse expert? No? Well then sit down and wait for the curse like the rest of us. Horrible magic takes time.”

Another also fears that the curse has been delayed: “Really glad that giant black sarcophagus didn’t realize a curse and doom us all OR DID IT”.

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