Sewage and Skeletons

And it was announced what was found in the granite sarcophagus discovered in Alexandria, Egypt… Sewage and skeletons.  At least it wasn’t cats.

Sarcophagi aren’t made to be water proof.  Under a city as large as Alexandria, there is bound to be some issues with that.  Alexandria has had trouble keeping their sewer systems up to date.  So when the Black Sarcophagus was opened, they found raw sewage from some of the many leaks and breaks in Alexandria’s vast sewer system.  They didn’t find mummies because mummies tend to decompose when exposed to water.

There were three skeletons though.  One appears to have been killed by an arrow, but it will require months of investigation and testing to know for sure.  The other two are a mystery.  Much like why the three were buried together.  Sarcophagi are meant for a single body, much like a modern day coffin.  So why were the three buried together?  And why did they take the time to make a massive granite sarcophagus for all three bodies.  It is very unlikely that the thing was just lying around waiting for someone with gigantism to die so it could be filled.

It would have been less weird if the sarcophagus had held a giant skeleton.  It might also be one of the strangest burials found in Egypt.  Sarcophagi were a luxury of the rich.  Everyday Joe could be mummified and buried, but he wasn’t getting a sarcophagus to be buried in.  They are time consuming to make, not to mention the cost of materials.  And the bust… Well, mummies weren’t buried with busts of themselves.  The sarcophagus was carved and then decorated to look like the deceased.  So is the bust a recreation of what one of the occupants of the sarcophagus looked like?  If so, why does it look so Greek?!

I talked about the disappearance of Alexander Helios in connection with the black sarcophagus in my first or second posting… I’m going to bring that back up.  Alexander Helios was the son of Cleopatra and Marc Antony.  He just disappears from history.  Cleopatra was more Greek than Egyptian (her family was Macedonian) and Marc Antony was definitely not an Egyptian.  The bust looks Greek because it was done in a Greek style.  Since Helios was more Greek and Roman than native Egyptian, this supports the idea that at least one of the bodies in the sarcophagus is of Greek or Roman origin.  And even though Helios never ruled Egypt, he did spend time there as a child and was educated by tutors in Alexandria before he was kidnapped and given to Marc Antony’s wife to raise.

And since Helios was never Pharaoh of Egypt, it would make sense that he wasn’t buried in a pharaoh’s tomb.  However, since he was once heir to the Egyptian throne, mummifying him and burying him in Alexandria seems logical.  Also, pharaohs were often buried with staff.  In tombs this means mummifying servants and placing them in a tomb.  Helios didn’t get a tomb, but he still might have been buried with a few mummified servants.  So a hastily carved sarcophagus and multiple mummies in it might actually be the perfect resting place for Alexander Helios.

Essentially, opening it just deepened the mystery.  Fingers crossed that it’s solved in my lifetime!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s