29 Jul Mystery of pyramids revealed
Archaeologists finally understand how the Ancient Egyptians were able to build the world-famous Pyramids of Giza – the only one of the seven classical Wonders of the World still standing – some 4,500 years ago. To achieve the impossible, 170,000 tons of limestone was transported by boat.
The Egyptians extracted the limestone from a quarry in Tura, located about thirteen kilometers from Giza. Granite was also used for monumental buildings. It came from a quarry in Aswan, more than 850 kilometers from Giza.
Both of these had been known for some time, but archaeologists didn’t even understand how all those stones were transported to Giza (now part of Greater Cairo) more than 4,500 years ago. Until now, because the discovery of an ancient papyrus scroll, a ceremonial boat, and a network of waterways seems to clear the mystery once and for all.
The new evidence shows that thousands of workers transported more than 170,000 tons of limestone with wooden boats (built with planks and rope) via the Nile. The stones – each weighing up to 2.5 tons – passed through specially constructed channels to arrive at a native harbor just a few meters from the construction site.
The papyrus scroll is the first “first-hand” document about how the pyramids were built and were written by an overseer named Merer. He explains in detail how the limestone was transported from Tura to Giza.
The waterway network was discovered by archaeologist Mark Lehner. “We have uncovered the canal basin, which we believe served as a central delivery point at the foot of the Giza Plateau.
The Pyramids of Giza consist of the Pyramid of Cheops (or the ‘Great Pyramid), of Khafre and of Mykerinos. The wonders of the world were built during the fourth dynasty, between circa 2551 and 2472 BC.
The new discoveries were shown on the British channel Channel 4 on Sunday evening in the documentary ‘Egypt’s Great Pyramid: The New Evidence’.