The world's canals can attract all sorts of old indestructable items, from plastic bags to styrofoam cups. But if you're in Egypt that can apparently include your occasional floating sarcophagus.
Madr Masr reports that Egypt's Antiquities Ministry has launched an investigation into the mysterious discovery last Friday of three ancient wooden coffins carrying sarcophagi drifting down an irrigation canal in the Egyptian village of Auda Basha.
Government officials have dated the artifacts to Egypt's Greco-Roman period, from 332 BC to AD 395.
How the coffins carrying the mummified remains came to be floating down the canal is still thoroughly unclear, though Youssef Khalifa, the ministry's chief of Egyptian artifacts, told Madr Masr that they may have been unearthed in an illegal excavation, and then tossed into the canal by treasure hunters who feared being caught.
"The robbers may have resorted to dumping these sarcophagi in the irrigation canal when they felt that authorities were closing in on them, or perhaps when they were approaching a security checkpoint," Khalifa told Madr Masr.
An Egyptian mummy in the Vatican Museums — Photo: Joshua Sherurcij