Photo: Jeremy Bezanger/Unsplash/Canaltech
Considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, and in particular the construction process of these pharaonic works, still hold many mysteries. Now a team of French researchers has discovered that extinct water channels of the Nile played a key role in transporting the building blocks.
The investigation of a previously unknown tributary of the Nile, published in the scholarly journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Pnas), was led by researchers from the University of Avignon, France. The discovery helps debunk the myth that these structures were built by aliens, as the book defends. Were the astronauts gods?by the Swiss Erich von Däniken.
“Ancient Egyptian engineers explored an ancient Nile canal to transport building materials and supplies to the Giza Plateau. However, there is little environmental evidence about when, where and how these ancient landscapes evolved,” the French authors note.
How were the pyramids built in Egypt?
The extinct canal of the Nile was instrumental in transporting building blocks that were present in the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt (Image: Osama Elsayed/Unsplash)
When we think of the Pyramids of Giza today, we immediately imagine a vast and vast desert. The researchers’ discovery that a Nile canal ran through the region may seem absurd at first, and is responsible for transporting the building blocks.
If the region is currently 8km from the Nile’s main stream a considerable distance considering the transport of large amounts of stone the situation was vastly different more than 4,000 years ago, according to the new study. That’s because the authors discovered traces of the channel known as Khufu near the Giza Plateau.
Importance of the Nile for the transport of building blocks
“New paleoecological analyzes have helped reconstruct an 8,000year river history of the Nile in this area and show that ancient waterscapes and higher river levels enabled the construction of the Giza pyramid complex about 4,500 years ago,” the authors say.
The reconstruction of the canal’s history was made possible by tracing traces of more than 60 plant species found throughout the region. Through this data, the researchers found that the volume of water in the canal was higher at the time the pyramids were built. Subsequently, opposite the Giza complex, the canal ceased to exist.
The discovery brings history and archeology closer to the true mechanisms that allowed the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. However, other mysteries are waiting to be uncovered, such as the process of fitting the gigantic blocks of stone into the constructed tunnel maze.
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