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Photos of the 1,800-year-old coffin everyone's talking about

Cupids and snakes and medusas ... oh my!

September 3, 2015 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Israel Antiquities AuthorityIsrael Antiquities AuthorityPhoto: MENAHEM KAHANA / Getty Images
September 3, 2015 | Latest Photo

It was just another day for the construction workers who unearthed a nearly 2,000 year old sarcophagus, a stone coffin, at a building site in Ashkelon, Israel. So much so that they didn't bother to tell anybody about it – they actually hid the ancient coffin when they found it, afraid they'd have to stop working if they showed it to anyone. Some serious workers, these guys.

The piece, which is covered in mythological Roman figures, was likely commissioned by a wealthy Roman family in the late 3rd century, according to archeologist Gaby Mazor. The Antiquities Authority called the two-ton limestone coffin "one of the most important and beautiful" ever found in Israel.

The sarcophagus adds to a growing list of things that are more than 1,000 years old that you can now see for yourself.

As soon as the coffin was shown to the media today, the Internet went nuts over the captivating figures. What do you think of them?

naked cupidsNaked cupids like the one being cleaned here were popular in Roman artwork. (Photo: Menahem Kahana/Getty Images)

medusaA monstrous mythological female figure Medusa, including the venemous snakes that made up her hair. (Photo: Menahem Kahana/Getty Images)

Ancient coffinsAncient coffins like this one were often displayed above ground. (Photo: Menahem Kahana/Getty Images)
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