Strange Science: Massive Black Sarcophagus Found

Recently unearthed black granite sarcophagusArchaeologists in Alexandria, Egypt, recently located a massive black granite sarcophagus likely from the Ptolemaic period (roughly 2,000 years ago). The sarcophagus was uncovered while preparing a site for a new building, but now researchers are faced with several problems.

The sarcophagus is massive, “at 185 cm (72.8 inches) tall, 265 cm (104.3 inches) long, and 165 cm (65 inches) wide.” Its weight is speculated to be around 30 tonnes (about 33 tons, or 66,000 pounds), with the lid alone making up half of that. And it’s 5 meters (roughly 16 feet) below ground. So just getting the lid out of the ground will be a challenge requiring some serious engineering.

Preliminary stories about this sarcophagus can be found here or here.

The sarcophagus was opened in mid-July, and the contents were three skeletons and sewer water. While the contents were not as exciting as hoped for (some speculated it might be the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great), the findings will still prove valuable as scientists study the remains and the sarcophagus itself, which is also slated for removal.

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