No curse unleashed as Egyptian archaeologists open mystery sarcophagus

The ancient tomb dating back to the Ptolemaic period was found in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria

The ancient tomb dating back to the Ptolemaic period was found in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria Credit AFP /Egyptian Ministry of Antiques

Egyptian archaeologists have unsealed and opened a mysterious granite sarcophagus discovered on a construction site in Alexandria - only to find the remains of three mummies in a pool of leaked sewage water.

On July 1, Egypt unearthed a 2,000-year-old sarcophagus in Alexandria, revealing that it is made of black granite of about 265 meters in length and 185 cm in height.

A ministry official, Aiman Ashmawy Ali, told CNN that the sarcophagus had been found in a previously unexcavated section of one of Alexandria's largest ancient cemeteries.

The tomb is believed to be from the early Ptolemaic period, between 305 BC to 30 BC - after the death of Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great in 323 BC.

Before the sarcophagus was opened, some had hoped that the remains of Alexander The Great might be inside it.

Instead, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities said, the sarcophagus contained what mummification experts believe to be the remains of three military soldiers or officers.

The skull of one is said to show cracks which point to an arrow injury. The remaining skeletons are now being analyzed at the National Museum of Alexandria.

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Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities supported Abu Ela's doubt, and stated that while the coffin might not be suitable for Alexander, it could still belong to an ancient Egyptian noble.

Three metres long and thought to be 2,000 years old, the tomb was found next to a giant alabaster head. However, Egypt Today reported that none of the three mummies belong to a Ptolemaic or Roman royal family.

He further pointed out that no evidence such as silver or gold metallic masks, small statues, amulets or inscriptions were found to prove that the mummies belong to a royal family.

He added: "We've opened it and, thank God, the world has not fallen into darkness".

Video published online showed the reddish liquid from the coffin later being poured into the suburban street in Alexandria in which the tomb had been found.

Mr Waziri also said the mummies had decomposed her being in the ground for thousands of years.

After some absolutely breathless speculation about the contents of the black sarcophagus, everyone pretty much settled on some sort of dire curse.

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