Authorities open 2,000-year-old sarcophagus, apparently avoid curse

The 2,000-year old sarcophagus was opened in Alexandria Egypt on Thursday

The 2,000-year old sarcophagus was opened in Alexandria Egypt on Thursday

Legends abounded about the sarcophagus, which was first found over 16 feet below ground by construction workers in a residential area of Alexandria earlier this month.

Egyptian archaeologists display skulls of three decomposed mummies found inside a black granite sarcophagus that was discovered in Sidi Gaber district, Alexandria, Egypt, 19 July 2018.

The ministry said it was likely that sewage water had seeped through a fracture in the coffin.

The mysterious box was discovered two weeks ago, and there was feverish speculation that it contained the remains of Alexander the Great, or possibly some sort of ancient curse or malignant entity.

David Milner, editor at Gamer Informer Australia, tweeted: "As a fan of Brendan Fraser's "The Mummy", I say don't open the cursed sarcophagus".

Mustafa Waziri of Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities told local media the team assigned to crack open the gargantuan tomb managed to pry the 2000-year-old lid just 5cm off the box before being overpowered by the rancid odour of its contents.

At nearly 6.5 feet high and 10 feet long, the structure is the largest of its kind ever found intact, the BBC reports. According to Dr. Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the sarcophagus may be the largest ever discovered in Alexandria.

One skeleton appears to show signs the skull was punctured by an arrow.

Inside were three disarticulated skeletons floating in sewer water, said archaeologist Shaaban Abdul on the Ministry of Antiquities' Facebook page.

The ancient Greek King's burial place has been so far lost to history after his corpse was stolen on route to Macedon before being transferred to Alexandria.

When a black granite sarcophagus was found at the bottom of a pit in Alexandria, Egypt, this past week, the discovery immediately prompted questions and theories ranging from the sensible to the supernatural.

"The sarcophagus has been opened, but we have not been hit by a curse", Waziri said.

The tomb is believed to date back to the early Ptolemaic period, which began in 323 BC after the death of Alexander the Great.

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