Exploration of the Nile River helped solve the mystery of the construction of the Egyptian pyramids

The Egyptian pyramids at Giza, which appeared about 4,500 years ago, have always attracted conspiracy theorists and ancient mysteries. Historians still cannot come to a consensus on how these structures were built. The main question is always the same: how were the huge stone blocks with an average weight of 2.5 tons delivered to the construction site? A new study by French scientists has lifted the veil of secrecy.

Now the pyramids of Giza are surrounded by a vast sandy plain, and on one side they border Cairo. The main course of the Nile is about 8 km away, which is quite a long distance for transporting stones over land. However, experts from the University of Marseille found that more than 4,000 years ago, there was a Khufu branch near the river, which connected the place where the pyramids were built with the main navigable vein of Egypt.

The map shows how the Khufu arm of the Nile River in Egypt used to reach the edges of the Giza pyramid complex. Image: PNAS

The assumption that the Nile reached Giza is not the first time that it has been put forward, but it has not been possible to confirm it before. Now, French scientists have been able to study in detail the history of this dried-up section of the river from pollen grains extracted from the floodplain. Tracking the rise and fall of more than 61 different plants along the Nile, they showed the rise and fall of water levels in the river’s arms over 8,000 years of ancient Egyptian history.

Specifically, it confirmed that the water level in the Khufu Arm rose significantly during the African Humid Period , which lasted from 14,800 to 5,500 years ago.

Illustration from the study. Image: PNAS

The water level in the Khufu arm appears to have been relatively high for some time after the wet period, allowing the river to remain navigable until the Great Pyramid of Giza dedicated to Pharaoh Khufu (the Pyramid of Cheops) was built about 4,500 years ago. . Initially, it had a height of 146.6 meters and consisted of more than 2.3 million large stone blocks with a total weight of 6 million tons.

It is possible that at some point the now-lost arm of the Nile reached the Great Sphinx of Giza, which today dominates the pyramid complex. This would explain a lot about the mysteries of Egyptian monuments, but it certainly doesn’t answer all questions about their construction, the researchers added.

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