Archaeologists have opened the giant black sarcophagus discovered in the city of Alexandria a few weeks ago. Three skeletons were found inside – as well as a fetid pool of sewage.

Uncovered in a tomb buried 5 m (16 ft) down, the striking sarcophagus measures 2.6 m (8.5 ft) long and has apparently sat undisturbed for almost 2,000 years – until now.

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has pried open the coffin, and found three skeletons inside. Unfortunately they aren't in the best condition, since an apparent leak has filled the sarcophagus with sewage.

So who are the occupants? After a cursory inspection, mummy expert Shaaban Abdul suggests they may have been military officers or soldiers. Interestingly, one of the skeletons shows signs of a possible blow to the head from an arrow.

Further analysis will be conducted after the coffin and its contents are transferred to the National Restoration Museum in Alexandria, and the rest of tomb will continue to be explored as well.

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