Egyptian archaeologists prepare to open huge mystery sarcophagus unearthed in Alexandria

Egyptian archaeologists are preparing to open a huge black sarcophagus unearthed in Alexandria, the city founded by Alexander the Great and where the legendary conqueror himself may be buried. 

The almost three-metre long by two-metre high sarcophagus was discovered in a long-concealed tomb below the earth during a survey of a plot of land for a building construction. An alabaster bust, its features eroded over the centuries, was found in the tomb.

While the tomb likely belonged to a noble man, not a king, its discovery gave hope to experts who believe that the tomb of Alexander might one day be found in modern Alexandria, which is built on top of ancient city he founded.

The Egyptian antiquities ministry said the sarcophagus had remained sealed for more than 2,000 years, with an undisturbed layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the massive stone coffin.

Without opening the sarcophagus, there are few clues about the identity of the man entombed inside. His bust is worn beyond recognition and the sarcophagus has no writings to indicate its owner.

Archaeologists believe, however, that it belonged to a noble or wealthy man of the Ptolemaic Period, between 323 BC and 30 BC, when Rome seized Egypt following the death of Queen Cleopatra.

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