Archaeologists have ignited the world’s imagination with the discovery of a large granite sarcophagus in Egypt. The find is especially intriguing because its mortar seal is completely intact, meaning that tomb raiders and treasure seekers haven’t gotten their hands on it over the centuries, leaving the contents untouched. But does the 2,000-year-old object hold the remains of Alexander the Great?
“I’ve had calls about this all day,” Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the government’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told the New York Times. “People are saying it might contain Alexander or Cleopatra or Ramses. They don’t know what they are talking about.”
According to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, the sarcophagus dates to the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty, between 304 and 30 BC, descended from Alexander’s general, Ptolemy I. The approximately nine-by-five-foot sarcophagus weighs some 30 metric tons.