By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | July 10, 2018 05:07pm ET This black granite sarcophagus was found in a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt. Dating back over 2,000 years, it is the largest sarcophagus ever found in Alexandria, archaeologists believe. Credit: Courtesy Egypt Antiquities Ministry A massive black granite sarcophagus and a sculpture of a man who may be buried inside have been discovered in a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt. The granite sarcophagus looks foreboding: It’s nearly 9 feet long, 5 feet wide and 6 feet tall (2.7 by 1.5 by 1.8 meters). And, it may be the largest sarcophagus ever discovered in Alexandria, said Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, in a statement released by Egypt’s antiquities ministry. A thick layer of mortar covers much of the sarcophagus, suggesting that it has not been opened since it was buried, Waziri said in the statement. As such, the person buried in the sarcophagus, along with any clothing or jewelry they wore and any artifacts they were buried with, may still be intact, waiting to be discovered. [See Photos of Mummies Discovered at an Ancient Egyptian Cemetery] Additionally, an alabaster head of a man, which may depict the person whose remains are buried in the sarcophagus, was also found in the tomb where the sarcophagus was discovered, the statement said. This alabaster head of a man found near the sarcophagus may depict the person who was buried there. Credit: Courtesy Egypt Antiquities Ministry A team from Egypt’s antiquities ministry was inspecting an area of land in the Sidi Gaber district before construction work on a building began when the members came upon the mysterious coffin. It dates back to sometime between 304 and 30 B.C., a time after the death of Alexander the Great, when the descendants of Ptolemy I, who was one of Alexander’s generals, ruled Egypt. At this time, Alexandria — which Alexander the Great claimed to have founded (although people were living there earlier) — was the capital of Egypt. The discovery leaves archaeologists with a series of mysteries: Who is buried inside the sarcophagus? What artifacts are hiding inside? And, why is the sarcophagus so large? The sarcophagus appears not to have been opened since it was buried, archaeologists say. Credit: Courtesy Egypt Antiquities Ministry Rare opportunity While ancient tombs are often discovered in Egypt, they have often been looted, whether in ancient or modern times. Most sarcophagi are found already opened, their contents taken away and the bones of the mummies sometimes found scattered by looters. In this case, the sarcophagus appears not to have been opened yet, giving archaeologists a chance to study its contents and the person inside it. Archaeologists are being cautious with the sarcophagus. They have not opened it, and they may decide that, to prevent damage, they will use X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans or another scientific test that will allow them to peer inside without opening the sarcophagus. Originally published on Live Science.
“A visit to Egypt is often high on people’s list of “One in a Lifetime” things to see and do as it was with us also. It is normal when visiting such an important location in the world, to hope that everything goes extra well since the For our trip we could not have been more pleased with the tour experience. The itinerary was well thought out, the accommodations excellent, the historical sites breathtaking, and the guidance provided by Romani and his staff second to none. We were conducted throughout with a professionalism that could not have been improved upon, while experiencing the history of the region be it Christian, Moslem, or from the times of the Pharaohs, across the country from Cairo to Luxor to Sinai and back. Romani’s ability to adjust the itinerary to avoid the crowds, while ensuring that he explained the relevance of each site visited, was outstanding. We would recommend the services of Egyptian Educational Travel and Romani to those who want to experience the very best tour experience of Egypt. Thank you Romani.” Regards,
“As someone who has traveled extensively throughout the world, I can recommend Egyptian Educational Travel Services as the best in the field. Romani Gaballa and his team tailor-make an exceptional educational experience. Logistical details are superbly handled — without a single hitch. And to top it off, the tours are provided with careful personal attention. You’ll not be disappointed with the services of Egyptian Educational Travel Services!”
“Having led and organized over 25 educational trips to the Middle East I can state from first hand experience that the experience our university recently had with Egyptian Educational Travel rates as the best organized, highest quality, and finest overall educational experience I have had. Our group of 43 (37 of whom were students) is still telling me what a phenomenal impact the trip had on their lives. Most are asking me: “when can we go again?” They are quick to add, ” We must have Romani as our travel guide—that’s a must.” I strongly recommend that other universities, churches, and civic organizations consider a visit to Egypt with EET.”
Mr. Romani Gaballa and Egyptian Educational Travel have provided six programs over the four years to Concordia College. We expect to work with our colleagues at EET on many more programs. Mr. Gaballa teaches our students with great energy and vast knowledge. He leads with delight in every aspect of the program and shows interest in every participant. Mr. Gaballa works extremely hard to accommodate special requests and is skillful at designing coherent and workable programs. He and his colleagues excel in all aspects of educational travel and create outstanding learning opportunities for our students.
“I have used EET for group travel on two occasions and would not hesitate to use their travel services again. Romani was available and helpful at every step in the planning process, making suggestions while remaining flexible to address our particular group needs. His expertise in Egyptian history and culture is formidable and his commitment to making Egypt a positive travel experience is unwavering. I highly recommend Egyptian Educational Travel and Romani Gaballa for planning and execution of any travel to Egypt”.
“After working with Mr. Romani Gaballa and Egyptian Education Travel, I have recommended him multiple times to my colleagues. Not only does Mr. Gaballa provide an excellent logistical experience, but his knowledge of Egyptian history and culture that he weaves into the experience makes him more than just a travel company. I am also particularly impressed with his professionalism, management of logistics, and local expertise on making things happen. We continue to work with Egyptian Educational travel to bring 20+ professors to Egypt and I would not do this trip or any trip to Egypt, without the help of Mr. Gaballa. When we work with Egyptian Education Travel and Mr. Romani Gaballa, we never have to worry and we always have a great experience”.