Giant black granite sarcophagus unearthed in Egypt
A massive black granite sarcophagus has been discovered in Egypt. It was found in a tomb 5 meters (16 feet) below the surface alongside an alabaster sculpture of a male head, thought to be that of the occupant. The lid of the 265-cm (104-in) sarcophagus is sealed with mortar, indicating that it has not been removed in its 2,000-year entombment. The find occurred in Alexandria, and is thought to be the largest sarcophagus ever discovered there.
The find came as the result of a land inspection at a potential building site in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria. The sarcophagus measures 265 cm (104 in) long, 165 cm (65 in) wide and 185 cm (73 in) deep. The identity of the occupant is unknown.
In its report, Smithsonian Magazine sets the find in context. Until the last few decades, the city of Alexandria has been overlooked by archaeologists as it's grown into a thriving modern city with some 5 million inhabitants. More broadly, it's been thought that many archaeological sites in Egypt would have already been picked bare.
However, in 2005 the remains of the University of Alexandria were found. It's thought that the Greek mathematician and scientist Archimedes may have studied there in his youth.
The city of Alexandria is through to have been founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. It was laid siege in the time of Julius Caesar as well as during the Byzantine-Persian and Napoleonic Wars. Today it is Egypt's second largest city.