'Cursed' Egyptian sarcophagus reveals its grisly secrets
Archaeologists in Egypt have unlocked the secrets of a mysterious ancient âcursedâ black granite sarcophagus.
The massive coffin, which was recently excavated in the city of Alexandria, was found to contain three skeletons and gold sheets with the remains. The tomb dates back to the Ptolemaic period between 305 B.C. and 30 B.C.
In a Facebook post Sunday, Egyptâs Ministry of Antiquities explained that preliminary studies had determined the gender and age of the skeletons. One skeleton belongs to a woman of 20 to 25 years of age, who was between 5 foot 3 inches and 5 foot 5 inches tall. A second skeleton belonged to man between 35 and 39 years old, who was between 5 feet 3 inches tall and just over 5 feet 5 inches. The third skeleton belonged to a man aged between 40 and 44, who was between 5 feet 10 inches and just over 6 feet tall.
An initial analysis had suggested that th e skeletons may belong to three soldiers.
Mystery surrounded the sarcophagus since its discovery was announced last month. The Independent, citing local reports, said that Egyptian officials had been mocking suggestions that opening the sarcophagus would unleash a curse.
Experts explained Sunday that a hole has been made in one of the skulls, the result of trepanation, or trepanning, a surgical procedure used to relieve pressure on the brain, that dates back thousands of years.
âThis surgery is the oldest surgical intervention ever known since pre-history but was rare in Egypt,â said Dr. Zeinab Hashish, director of the department of skeleton remains studies at the Ministry of Antiquities.
Experts also explained the disgusting red liquid that was foun d inside the sarcophagus. Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector, said that the liquid is likely sewage water combined with the decomposing remains of the skeletonsâ wrappings.
More than 30,000 people signed a bizarre online petition asking to drink the red liquid. By drinking it, people claimed they would absorb the mummiesâ powers.
More research will now be undertaken, including DNA tests and CT-scans, to find out more about the skeletons and determine whether they were related.
The sarcophagus was found buried 16.4 feet below the surface. A layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicated that it has not been opened since it was closed more than 2,000 years ago.
A carved alabaster head was also found, prompting speculation that it depicts the tombâs owner.Source: Google News Egypt | Netizen 24 Egypt