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Old 07-20-2018, 07:26 PM   #1
Pale Horse
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How Soon before the Evil Starts?

A Big Black Granite Pre-History Sarcophagus was just opened in Alexandria

Sure, it was 3 skeletons, and some gnarly red liquid...but that's how it Always starts....

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...Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities had appointed a committee of archaeologists to open the relic, which was unearthed at a construction site.

According to Egyptian news outlet El-Watan, they initially lifted the lid of the tomb by just 5cm (2 inches) before the pungent smell forced them from the inspection scene entirely. They later prised it open with help from Egyptian military engineers.

"We found the bones of three people, in what looks like a family burial... Unfortunately the mummies inside were not in the best condition and only the bones remain," said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Addressing media fears that disturbing the tomb could trigger an implacable Pharaoh's curse, Mr Waziri declared: "We've opened it and, thank God, the world has not fallen into darkness...


Exciting Times!
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Horse
A Big Black Granite Pre-History Sarcophagus was just opened in Alexandria

Sure, it was 3 skeletons, and some gnarly red liquid...but that's how it Always starts....




Exciting Times!
Our friend Mr. Waziri seems to have declared victory too soon, given the bundles of joy seen whenever one turns on the nightly news. In all honesty, though, this find is fascinating, and it's unfortunate that the mummies aren't in pristine condition, as it could help us further understand some of the minute details of Ancient Egyptian life, a subject I've been fascinated with my entire life.
But wait, there's more:
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Despite that, the site has now been cleared of people amid fears the sarcophagus could release lethal toxic fumes, Egypt's state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram says.
The Mummy: Revenge of the Toxic Sewage?
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:35 PM   #3
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"Behold, a Pale Horse...

... and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth."

No one listens to me...

July 27th Blood Moon - Longest in the 21st Century

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The "blood moon" theory is interpreted from the Book of Joel, which says: "The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes."

A similar passage in the Book of Revelations reads: "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood."

But it has been routinely dismissed by astronomers and other experts as a myth.

... I'm no crack conspiracy theorist, but if there is an earthquake in the next few days... Just saying.

It only took the Egyptians 3000 years to get revenge on the Jews for leaving....
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:32 PM   #4
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The instant fresh air hits the contents does that have any negative consequences on the contents?
I'm recalling a movie scene somewhere where remains disintegrate moments after opening or even before seeing the contents. I wonder how much truth there is to that.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axelan
The instant fresh air hits the contents does that have any negative consequences on the contents?
I'm recalling a movie scene somewhere where remains disintegrate moments after opening or even before seeing the contents. I wonder how much truth there is to that.
There is quite a bit of truth to that, actually, especially when dealing with mummies. For example, most under study are kept inside heavily climate-controlled rooms as to not damage them. Unfortunately, sometimes the mummies are improperly handled, such as some in Chile, which have begun to disintegrate into a 'black ooze" due to the poor weather conditions that they're housed in. But it isn't an immediate concern, but rather something that takes at least a little bit of time.
The pictures of the bones from the sarcophagus here, however, appear to be mostly unmummified. I'd be more worried about the potential exposure to lethal toxins inside the coffin itself, as it contained raw sewage inside of it.
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Horse
A Big Black Granite Pre-History Sarcophagus was just opened in Alexandria

Sure, it was 3 skeletons, and some gnarly red liquid...but that's how it Always starts....




Exciting Times!
Im personally excited for this. I feel that there could be some really awesome discoveries to be made once this thing is more thoroughly researched.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:55 PM   #7
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There's undoubtedly some kind of knowledge to be gained. The first question is, knowledge of what?
Considering there was no such place as Alexandria before the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great (he built it from scratch, it was not a Hellenic overwriting of an existing Egyptian site), the dating of the remains will probably reveal that it is no older than the late 4th century BCE.

My guess is that it's even newer than that, based on the funerary practices of the Ptolemaic elite versus the Romans who succeeded them. The Ptolemies emulated classical Egyptians: mummification and coffin burials. The object is to preserve the body, and thereby the ka, of the deceased. Greco-Roman tradition called for the use of a sarcophagus (Greek, literally "flesh eater"), in which bodies were temporarily interred. Once the flesh was gone, the bones were removed, cleaned, and transferred to an ossuary. The sarcophagus (often a family possession) was then available for reuse. No concern with connections between the remains and eternal life. Hence Waziri's comment (as translated by Reuters) that "unfortunately the mummies inside were not in the best condition and only the bones remain," appears inappropriate: mummies and sarcophagi don't go together. But the headline about a 2,000-year-old find sounds on target- that would be Roman era.

The "family burial" scenario suggested by Waziri sounds plausible, but the enormous size of the sarcophagus and weight of the lid argues against later recycling by the family. If the skeletons all belong to adult males, I'd suggest that this was a monumental burial of three elite and/or heroic Romans, at least one of whom was killed in battle. Which would make the object more correctly a tomb than a technical sarcophagus.

Hopefully, a forensics team will be looking at the C14 dating and genetic provenience of the organic materials (bodies and contents). If analyzable, DNA from the bodies should tell the tale of where they were from, but not necessarily why their bodies were in Alexandria. As for the tomb itself: tools & techniques used in its construction; inscriptions (please!); grave goods (likely with mummies, not so much with sarcophagus use, but an entombment, maybe); and especially the context of the find- was it in a classical Egyptian (unlikely), Hellenistic, or Roman setting?

Hopefully, those (and other) lines of investigation will converge on a compatible explanation. Which will not make headlines like the initial find did, and will probably take about a year or more. If I spot something in the literature, I'll post here.

This is not my area of expertise, BTW, but I love a good puzzle. And Alexandria is where it's happening in Egypt these days, what with all the construction.
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:34 PM   #8
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Archaeology Magazine has reported that the bodies belong to three men killed in combat. They're the first to update this story, it seems.

And hey, if you really want to lose your faith in humanity, thousands have signed a petition asking to drink the raw sewage water from the sarcophagus. Here's a gem from the petition itself:
Quote:
Originally Posted by It's probably sarcastic but it feels like it isn't at this point.
“We need to drink the red liquid from the cursed dark sarcophagus in the form of some sort of carbonated energy drink so we can assume its powers and finally die,”
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