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Sarcophagus Lid of Setau

Sarcophagus Lid of Setau


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The J. Paul Getty Museum

This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Sarcophagus Lid

Unknown 100 × 95 × 218 cm (39 3/8 × 37 3/8 × 85 13/16 in.) 95.AA.80.2

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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 213, Achilles Sarcophagus

Alternate Views

Front, in situ

Front, with lid

3/4 right front with lid

Back, with lid

Object Details

Title:
Artist/Maker:

Unknown maker, made in an Attic workshop

Culture:
Place:

Athens, Greece (Place Created)

Medium:
Object Number:
Dimensions:

100 × 95 × 218 cm (39 3/8 × 37 3/8 × 85 13/16 in.)

Alternate Title:

Sarcophagus with the Life of Achilles (Display Title)

Department:
Classification:
Object Type:
Related Works
Related Works
Provenance
Provenance
By 1993 - 1995

Robert Haber & Associates (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995.

Bibliography
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1995." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 24 (1996), p. 88, no. 3.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 27.

True, Marion. "Refining policy to promote partnership." In Antichità senza provenienza II. Supl. Bollettino d'Arte n. 101-102. Pelagatti, Paola and Pier Giovanni Guzzo, eds. (Rome: Libreria dello Stato, 2000), pp. 141-2, fig. 9.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 27.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 168.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 95, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 10, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 168.

Oakley, John. Die attischen Sarkophage. Faszikel 3. Andere Mythen (Gebr. Mann Verlag. Berlin, 2011), p. 29-31, 60, 81, cat. no. 37, pl. 30.2.

Russel, Ben. The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 302, fig. 7.26.

Oakley, J. H. "The Achilles Sarcophagus in the J. Paul Getty Museum." In Koch, G (ed.), Römische Sarkophage. Akten des Symposiums. Marburger Beiträge zur Archäologie, band 3 (Marburg 2016), p.103-107.

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Mysterious giant sarcophagus discovered in Egypt

A mysterious ancient black granite sarcophagus has been discovered in Egypt.

The tomb, which dates back to the Ptolemaic period between 305 B.C. and 30 B.C., was uncovered in the city of Alexandria.

In a Facebook post, Dr. Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced that the 6-foot high sarcophagus, which is 8.7-feet long and 5.4-feet wide, is the largest ever found in Alexandria.

The sarcophagus was found buried 16.4 feet below the surface. A layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicates that it has not been opened since it was closed more than 2,000 years ago.

The carved alabaster head discovered at the site. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

A carved alabaster head, which probably depicts the tomb’s owner, was also found.

Ancient Egypt continues to reveal its secrets. Archaeologists recently unearthed a 2,200-year-old gold coin depicting the ancient King Ptolemy III, an ancestor of the famed Cleopatra.

Experts in Southern Egypt recently discovered an extremely rare marble head depicting the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

The sarcophagus lid and body have been sealed with mortar, which may indicate that it has not been opened since it was closed more than 2,000 years ago. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Additionally, experts in Australia found the tattered remains of an ancient priestess in a 2,500-year-old Egyptian coffin that was long thought to be empty.

On the other side of the world, a rare ancient artifact depicting the famous female pharaoh Hatshepsut surfaced in the U.K. Stunning new research also claims that King Tutankhamun may have been a boy soldier, challenging the theory he was a weak and sickly youth before his mysterious death at around 18 years of age.

Experts in the U.K. also found the world’s oldest figurative tattoos on two ancient Egyptian mummies recently, one of which is the oldest tattooed female ever discovered.

The carved alabaster head probably depicts the tomb’s owner (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Other recent finds include an ancient cemetery in Egypt with more than 40 mummies and a necklace containing a “message from the afterlife.” An ancient statue of a Nubian king with an inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphics was also found at a Nile River temple in Sudan.

Scientists also believe that they may have found the secret of the Great Pyramid’s near-perfect alignment. Experts are also confident that they have solved the long-standing mystery of the “screaming mummy.”

In February, archaeologists announced the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids. Late last year, archaeologists also revealed that they had uncovered the graves of four children at an ancient site in Egypt.


Coffin Inscriptions

The other, arguably more important, aspect of the sarcophagus is the inscription that was found on it. This inscription was carved above a relief on the upper rim and lid of the sarcophagus. The inscription has been translated as follows:

“A coffin made it [It]tobaal, son of Ahirom, king of Byblos, for Ahirom, his father, lo, thus he put him in seclusion. Now, if a king among kings and a governor among governors and a commander of an army should come up against Byblos and when he then uncovers this coffin – (then:) may strip off the sceptre of his judiciary, may be overturned the throne of his kingdom, and peace and quiet may flee from Byblos. And as for him, one should cancel his registration concerning the libation tube of the memorial sacrifice.”

From the inscription, it is known that the sarcophagus was made for Ahiram by his son, Ittobaal. The rest of the inscription is essentially a curse intended to protect the sarcophagus and its contents from would-be desecrators. This, however, did not deter tomb robbers from looting the tomb in antiquity. Nevertheless, the sarcophagus was left in the tomb for archaeologists to discover in the future. It has also been noted that 19 of the 22 letters that make up the Phoenician alphabet are present in this inscription, and is at present the earliest known example of the fully developed form of the Phoenician alphabet. Today, the Sarcophagus of King Ahiram is kept in the National Museum of Beirut in Lebanon.

Top image: Sarcophagus of Ahiram, King of Byblos (Phoenicia). Beirut National Museum. Photo source: Public Domain


Ancient Egyptian Wood Sarcophagus Lid Top (Superb object with a Low Reserve price) - 100×47×30 cm - (1)

Wood covered with stuccoed and painted canvas.
Red face wearing a blue striped wig and adorned with a large "User" necklace (green, blue and red) with hieracephalic ties.
some damage, probably some restorations at the side and back
Purchased in 2001
Purchased by the current owner on June 6, 2001 in France, in Paris, Drouot. From: Drouot auction house, auctioneer Olivier Bégarie, Expert Mr Ch. Slitine History of previous provenance, French collection History of previous owners at Hotel Drouot, Bégarie study.
The seller can prove that the lot was obtained legally, declaration of provenance seen by Catawiki. Important information: The seller guarantees that he is authorized to sell / export this lot. The seller will ensure that the necessary authorizations, such as an export license, are arranged. (passport for cultural object) The seller will inform the buyer of his status if it takes more than a few days.

Wood covered with stuccoed and painted canvas.
Red face wearing a blue streaked wig and adorned with a large "Ouser" necklace (green, blue and red) with hieracephalic ties.
some missing parts, probably some restorations at the sides and at the back.

Purchased in 2001.
Purchased by the present owner in 6 in France, Paris. From: Drouot auction house, auctioneer Olivier Bégarie, Expert Mr Ch. Slitine. Previous origin history, French historic collection. Previous owners history available at Drouot auction house, Bégarie study.
The seller can prove that the lot was obtained legally, declaration of provenance seen by Catawiki. Important information: The seller guarantees that he is authorised to sell / export this lot. The seller will ensure that the necessary authorisations, such as an export licence, are organised (passport for a cultural object). The seller shall inform the buyer of the status, if the should take more than a few days.


The Royal Tomb of Pakal the Great

Lhuillier's stairway ended about 25 meters (82 feet) below the surface and at its end, the archaeologists found a large stone box with the bodies of six sacrificed individuals. On the wall next to the box on the left side of the room, a large triangular slab covered the access to the funerary chamber of K’inich Janaab’ Pakal, king of Palenque from AD 615 to 683.

The funerary chamber is a vaulted room of about 9 x 4 meters (ca 29 x 13 feet). At its center sits the large stone sarcophagus made out of a single limestone slab. The surface of the stone block was carved to house the body of the king and it was then covered by a stone slab. Both the stone slab and the sides of the sarcophagus are covered with carved images portraying human figures emerging from trees.


The Search for Horus Sekhemkhet

Three ancient pyramids at Saqqara. The central one is Zoser’s Step Pyramid.
(Image: Linda Harms/Shutterstock)

King Zoser’s Successor

Egyptologists, in their search for the ancient Pharaohs, have become aware of some truly fascinating accounts and none more so than the step pyramid of Horus Sekhemkhet, who was the second Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty of Egypt, during the Old Kingdom. He was the successor to Zoser, who founded the Third Dynasty.

Before delving further into the story of Sekhemkhet, one needs to be aware of the pyramid tradition among Pharaohs in the Old Kingdom of Egypt. The kings of the First Dynasty traditionally had dual burials at Abydos and Saqqara. They were buried in mastaba-like structures—rectangular enclosures made out of mud bricks, and not pyramids. King Zoser of the Third Dynasty was the first to be buried in a pyramid. The Pyramid of Zoser was also the first step pyramid, created by Zoser’s vizier and architect Imhotep. Zoser had a second burial as well, continuing the tradition of the kings of the First Dynasty. This second burial is just a couple of hundred yards to the south of the step pyramid.

This is a transcript from the video series History of Ancient Egypt. Watch it now, on Wondrium.

King Sekhemkhet continued this pyramid tradition and commissioned a step pyramid. Unfortunately, he died before the pyramid could be completed. The discovery of this incomplete pyramid, which was only a few meters high, was recorded in 1951. The misfortune of King Sekhemkhet proved to be a blessing for the historians. An unfinished monument is more interesting than a completed one, because it provides the opportunity to study how the structure was being built.

Sekhemkhet’s Unfinished Pyramid

Sekhemkhet’s pyramid opened the doors for Egyptologists to discover a key element of the construction process. In fact, it can be termed as a quirk of the construction process.

The walls of the pyramid are still rough, which means that the stones weren’t finished at the quarry before being transported to the site of the pyramid. The walls were built first, with the surface still kind of rough. A workman then came in and worked at it with a chisel to give it the finishing touch.

This further highlighted the enormousness of the task the Ancient Egyptians undertook in building the pyramids. It would have been comparatively easier to finish the blocks to a uniform standard and then ship them to the site, as each block would be lighter and consequently the volume of stone to be shipped lower.

This isn’t the only unique aspect of Sekhemkhet’s pyramid. When excavators found the pyramid they discovered that the burial chamber was still sealed. This discovery sparked great interest, because it was the first completely intact burial chamber to have been identified after Tutankhamen’s tomb. The excavators inched deeper into the pyramid and opened the corridor leading to the burial chamber. They found artifacts such as gold bracelets, gold beads, a magical wand and various other items on the corridor floor.

When the moment of finally unsealing and opening the burial chamber arrived, every important dignitary in Egypt was invited, along with a large contingent of media personnel. The burial chamber was carefully opened, and a stone sarcophagus was found inside. This sarcophagus was still sealed.

Sekhemkhet’s Sarcophagus

A sarcophagus is not the same as a coffin. Coffins are typically made of wood, whereas a sarcophagus is made of stone. The word sarcophagus (and its plural, sarcophagi) originate from Greek. When the Greek first arrived in Egypt and discovered these stone sarcophagi, they found badly preserved mummies inside, which had essentially turned into skeletons. This led to them calling these stone structures ‘flesh eaters’ or sarcophagi.

The sarcophagus of a pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty at Saqqara. It is relatively plain and simple, compared to the elaborate ones of later pharaohs. (Image: Evren Kalinbacak/Shutterstock)

Remains of burnt plants were found on top of the sarcophagus. These are believed to be remains of a funerary wreath, which the Ancient Egyptians burned as an offering. The dignitaries and media contingent were waiting with great expectation for the final reveal of Horus Sekhemkhet’s mummy inside the sarcophagus.

The lid of the sarcophagus proved to be particularly challenging to open. It was located on the side of the sarcophagus, as opposed to the top. Eventually, and with extreme caution, the lid was opened only to reveal an empty sarcophagus.

Currently, there are two theories regarding why Horus Sekhemkhet’s sarcophagus was empty. The first theory suggests that Horus Sekhemkhet was simply following in the footsteps of King Djoser and the kings before him by having dual burials. This would mean that the incomplete pyramid was the King’s cenotaph, or the false burial site. The second theory suggests that King Sekhemkhet was wary of future tomb robbers and this incomplete step pyramid was an elaborate decoy an attempt to throw them off the track.

The second theory is considerably less plausible than the first, because tomb robbers were typically the same men who built the tombs. They had the most in-depth knowledge about the pyramid. They also knew exactly what kind of gifts, jewelry and other treasures the king had stored inside the pyramid and exactly where they were stored. So, the men who built Sekhemkhet’s pyramid knew that he wasn’t inside the sarcophagus, so they left this pyramid alone. If this incomplete step pyramid is indeed a cenotaph, the actual burial site of Horus Sekhemkhet hasn’t been discovered yet.

Common Questions about the Search for Horus Sekhemkhet

King Sekhemkhet commissioned a step pyramid , but died before the pyramid could be completed. The discovery of this incomplete pyramid, in 1951 was a blessing for the historians. This was because the incomplete pyramid–that is, a pyramid which was still being built when it was abandoned –provided archaeologists the opportunity to study the method of construction.

The pyramid walls are still rough , which tells us that the stones weren’t cut to shape at the quarry before being transported to the site of the pyramid . The walls were built first , with the surface still kind of rough. A workman then came in and worked at it with a chisel to make it smooth.

When excavators found Sekhemkhet’s pyramid they discovered that the burial chamber was still sealed . This discovery sparked great interest among both archaeologists and the media, because it was the first completely intact burial chamber to have been located after Tutankhamen’s tomb.

There are two theories about Sekhemkhet’s sarcophagus being empty. The first is that this was the false burial site, and the pharaoh is actually buried elsewhere. The second theory is that the step pyramid was actually an elaborate decoy to throw tomb robbers off the scent.


A

Abu Simbel
Nile 18, “Discovering Abu Simbel” pp. 47-54
'Smiting of the Enemies’ relief: Nile 13, “Tombos” p. 17
Abusir
Nile 12 pp. 21-23
Ahhotep (Queen, mother of Ahmose I)
Stela: Nile 13, “Ahmose: Let My People Go” p. 27
Ahmose I (King, 18th Dynasty)

Nile 13, “Ahmose: Let My People Go” pp. 23-29
Karnak Stela: Nile 16 p. 36
Tomb (Abydos): Nile 16 p. 41
Pyramid: Nile 13, “Ahmose: Let My People Go” p. 26
Shabti : Nile 13, “Ahmose: Let My People Go” pp. 23, 26
Ahmose (mother of Hatshepsut)
Hatshepsut’s divine birth at Deir el-Bahari: Nile 12, “Looking Back” p. 64
Ahmose-Inhapi (Queen, wife of Tao II, 17th Dynasty)
Tomb: Nile 10, “The Coffin of Ramesses II” pp. 15-27
Ahmose son of Abana
Battles with the Hyksos: Nile 13, “Ahmose: Let My People Go” p. 27
Akh
Nile 16 pp. 34-35
Akhenaten (King, 18th Dynasty)
KV 62 tomb decoration: Nile 15 pp. 31-43
Depicted with family: Nile 1 p. 37
Tomb (TA 26): Nile 16 p. 53
Statue in Brooklyn Museum: Nile 11, “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt” p. 51
Stela with Nefertiti and blank cartouches (Berlin Inv. No. AM 25574): Nile 11, “Fascinating Pyramids” pp. 26-27
Akhet (horizons)
Nile 16 p. 34
Alexander Helios (son of Cleopatra VII) Nile 16 p. 10
Alexander the Great
Nile 17, “Masterpieces of the BAAM” p. 13
Nile 18, “Ptolemy I: Forging an Empire” p. 42
Amarna
Boundary Stela K: Nile 17, “KV 62, The North Wall Part 2: Finding Nefertiti” p. 41
Amduat Nile 16 p. 34
Fifth Hour: Nile 14 p. 59
Amenemhat I (King, 12th Dynasty)
Pyramid at Lisht: Nile 14 pp. 33-35
Amenemhat II (King, 12th Dynasty)
“White” Pyramid at Dahshur: Nile 14 pp. 37-38
Amenemhat III (King, 12th Dynasty)
“Black” Pyramid at Dahshur: Nile 14 p. 43
Pyramid at Dahshur: Nile 14 pp. 43-45
Ameneminet (TT 277) Nile 16 p. 32
Amenemnisu (King, 21st Dynasty)
Nile 17, “Tanis” p. 21
Amenherkhopshef (QV 55, son of Ramesses III)
Ramesses III in tomb: Nile 18, “Is Ramesses III Overrated?” p. 18
Hathor in tomb: Nile 10, “The Noble Vulture” p. 34
Amenhotep I (King, 18th Dynasty)
Tomb (AN B): Nile 16 pp. 41-43
Amenhotep II (King, 18th Dynasty)
Succession problems: Nile 12, “Thutmose IV: Placeholder or Pivot?” p. 41, 42
Tomb (KV 35): Nile 16 pp. 48-49
Amenhotep III (King, 18th Dynasty)
Newly-discovered statue: Nile 12 p. 1, pp. 52-53
In tomb of Heqareshu (TT 226): Nile 16 p. 37
Marriage scarab: Nile 11, “Sekhmet: Patron Goddess of Healers and Physicians” p. 43
Memorial Temple (Kom el-Hettan):
Nile 12, “The Top 5 Discoveries of 2017” pp. 52-53
Nile 16 p. 52
Tomb (WV 22): Nile 16 pp. 50-51
Amennakht (worker at Deir el-Medina)
Pyramidion: Nile 11, “Fascinating Pyramids” p. 24
American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)

ARCE Update: Coffin Reuse with Kara Cooney: Nile 16 pp. 15-21
ARCE Update: Tomb of Niay (TT 286): Nile 14 pp. 26-29
ARCE Update: Conservation Field Schools in Luxor: Nile 13 pp. 6-13
ARCE Update: History of ARCE: Nile 13 pp. 6-13
Anhai (Chantress of Amun-Re)
Papyrus: Nile 14 p. 63
Ani
Papyrus:
Nile 16 p. 37
Nile 17, “The Mysterious Benu” p. 56
Nile 18, “Animals in Magic and Medicine” p. 11
Animal Mummies
Nile 11, “Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt” pp. 55-63
Ankh
Origin of: Nile 18, “Animals in Magic and Medicine” p. 8
Ankhenespepi II (wife of Pepi I)
Wooden head discovered: Nile 12, “The Top 5 Discoveries of 2017” pp. 50-51
Pyramid:
Nile 12, “The Royal Tombs of Ancient Egypt” pp. 26-27
Nile 12, “The Top 5 Discoveries of 2017” p. 51
Ankhenespepi III (wife of Pepi I)
Pyramid:
Nile 12, “The Royal Tombs of Ancient Egypt” p. 26
Nile 12, “The Top 5 Discoveries of 2017” p. 51
Apries (26th Dynasty King)
Nile 17, “Masterpieces of the BAAM” p. 17
Asetweret (Chantress of Amun, Ptolemaic Period)
Book of the Dead papyrus: Nile 17, “Gods of Egypt” p. 34
Aten (God)

Cartouche: Nile 16 p. 34
Origins:
Nile 12, “Thutmose IV: Placeholder or Pivot?” p. 46
Nile 15 p. 36
In KV 62: Nile 14 pp. 9-23
Temple at Heliopolis: Nile 9, “Heliopolis: The City of the Sun Reemberges” p. 22
Augustus (Roman Emperor)
Nile 16 pp. 6-14
Ay (18th-Dynasty king)
Statue (Vienna): Nile 10, “The Coffin of Ramesses II” p. 19
Tomb (WV 23): Nile 14 pp. 15 Nile 16 pp. 55-56


‘Cursed’ ancient Egyptian sarcophagus “Mummy Juice” Secrets

Archaeologists in Egypt have unlocked the secrets of a mysterious ancient ‘cursed’ black granite sarcophagus. “A sarcophagus with this kind of weight and a lid that heavy is made for one reason! To keep whatever spirit in there from ever getting out. Leave the dead!”

The massive coffin, which was recently excavated in the city of Alexandria, was found to contain three skeletons and gold sheets with the remains. The tomb dates back to the Ptolemaic period between 305 B.C. and 30 B.C.

Measuring a whopping 9ft long, 5ft wide and 6ft tall, the casket, which was unearthed at a building site in Alexandria following a preliminary inspection by a team from Egypt’s antiquities ministry, dates back around 2,000 years and is the largest sarcophagus ever discovered in the city.

A sarcophagus (plural, sarcophagi) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word “sarcophagus” comes from the Greek sarx meaning “flesh”, and φαγεῖν phagein meaning “to eat”, hence sarcophagus means “flesh-eating” from the phrase lithos sarkophagos . Since lithos is Greek for “stone”, lithos sarcophagos means “flesh-eating stone”. The word also came to refer to a particular kind of limestone that was thought to rapidly facilitate the decomposition of the flesh of corpses contained within it due to the chemical properties of the limestone itself

When archaeologists lifted its lid back in July, they discovered the remains of three skeletons that were partially submerged in a foul-smelling red liquid that was believed to be sewage. In a Facebook post Sunday, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities explained that preliminary studies had determined the gender and age of the skeletons. One skeleton belongs to a woman of 20 to 25 years of age, who was between 5-feet-3 and almost 5-feet-5. A second skeleton belonged to man between 35 and 39 years old, who was between 5-feet-3 and just over 5-feet-5. The third skeleton belonged to a man aged between 40 and 44, who was between 5-feet-10 and just over 6-feet tall.

Experts explained Sunday that a hole has been made in one of the skulls, the result of trepanation, or trepanning, a surgical procedure used to relieve pressure on the brain, that dates back thousands of years. The disgusting liquid they were found in was determined to be a combination of sewage that had leaked in to the coffin and the decomposing remains of the wrappings the bodies were buried in.

“This surgery is the oldest surgical intervention ever known since pre-history but was rare in Egypt,” said Dr. Zeinab Hashish, director of the department of skeleton remains studies at the Ministry of Antiquities.

Experts also explained the disgusting red liquid that was found inside the sarcophagus. Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector, said that the liquid is likely sewage water combined with the decomposing remains of the skeletons’ wrappings.

While some historical accounts claim that the great Macedonian conqueror was ultimately buried in Alexandria following his death in 323 B.C., his tomb has never been found.

Two archaeologists who work in Alexandria and have knowledge of the discovery spoke independently to National Geographic. They both suspect that the sarcophagus itself may date to an earlier pharaonic dynasty in Egypt’s long history, due in part to its unusually large proportions.

One of the two archaeologists believes that, since Alexandria wasn’t even founded until the fourth century B.C., the massive sarcophagus may have been brought to the city empty, from an earlier, dynastic-period site down the Nile—such as Memphis—and then re-used to bury someone in later years.

The other archaeologist believes that the burial itself may also actually date to the Roman period, which follows the Ptolemaic period, based on its “high” elevation (the sarcophagus was uncovered just 15 feet below the modern street surface). This archaeologist also points out that the site of the burial is outside the boundaries of ancient Alexandria, making it highly unlikely that an ancient Egyptian royal would have been buried there.

More than 30,000 people signed a bizarre online petition asking to drink the red liquid. By drinking it, people claimed they would absorb the mummies’ powers.

More research will now be undertaken, including DNA tests and CT-scans, to find out more about the skeletons and determine whether they were related.

The sarcophagus was found buried 16.4 feet below the surface. A layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicated that it has not been opened since it was closed more than 2,000 years ago. A carved alabaster head, was also found, prompting speculation that it depicts the tomb’s owner.

The granite coffin’s contents offer the latest fascinating glimpse into the culture of ancient Egypt. Archaeologists, for example, recently found the oldest solid cheese in the tomb of Ptahmes, mayor of the ancient city of Memphis.

A mummy buried in Southern Egypt more than 5,000 years ago, has also revealed its grisly secrets, shedding new light on prehistoric embalming practices. Additionally, a mysterious sphinx, was discovered during roadwork in the Egyptian city of Luxor.

In a separate project, experts unearthed a 2,200-year-old gold coin depicting the ancient King Ptolemy III, an ancestor of the famed Cleopatra.

Experts in Southern Egypt recently discovered an extremely rare marble head depicting the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Other recent finds include an ancient cemetery in Egypt with more than 40 mummies and a necklace containing a “message from the afterlife.” An ancient statue of a Nubian king with an inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphics was also found at a Nile River temple in Sudan.

Scientists also believe that they may have found the secret of the Great Pyramid’s near-perfect alignment. Experts are also confident that they have solved the long-standing mystery of the “screaming mummy.”


Sarcophagus Lid of Setau - History

The Sarcophagus of Adelphia

From the Catacombs of St. John, Syracuse, Sicily
Case: 2nd quarter of the 4th century. Lid: Possibly later.
Marble, 69 cm. high, 85 cm. wide, 207 cm. long (case) 20 x 80 x 200 (cover).
Archeological Museum, Syracuse, Sicily

  • The lid
    1. Left side (see large image and discussion).
    2. Right side (see large image and discussion).
  • The case, upper register, left to right:
    1. God assigns Adam and Eve tasks (see large image and discussion).
    2. Jesus, Peter, and the Rooster (see large image and discussion).
    3. The Hemorrhoissa (see large image and discussion).
    4. Moses receives the Law (see large image and discussion).
    5. Sacrifice of Isaac (see large image and discussion).
    6. Cure of the blind man (see large image and discussion).
    7. Multiplication of the loaves and fishes (see large image and discussion).
    8. Resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (see large image and discussion).
  • The case, lower register, left to right:
    1. Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego (see large image and discussion).
    2. Cana (see large image and discussion).
    3. Adoration of the Magi (see large image and discussion).
    4. Adam and Eve (see large image and discussion).
    5. Palm Sunday (see large image and discussion).

Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.


Watch the video: Egyptian Sarcophagus Build! (May 2022).