The lost arm of the Nile helped the ancient Egyptians transport materials from the pyramids

The lost arm of the Nile helped the ancient Egyptians transport materials from the pyramids

The lost arm of the Nile helped the ancient Egyptians transport materials from the pyramids

When the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids of Giza around 4,500 years ago, the Nile had an arm – long gone – with high water levels that helped workers ship materials to their construction site , according to a new study.

The discovery builds on earlier archaeological and historical findings that the Nile had an extra arm flowing alongside the pyramids. But now, by analyzing ancient pollen samples taken from earth cores, it’s clear that “ancient waterscapes and higher river levels” gave the Pyramid of Giza‘s builders a head start, a team of researchers wrote in an article published August 29 in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research sheds light on how the pyramids – the royal tombs of pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure – reached monumental heights. Their towering stature was achieved, in large part, through Khufu’s now-defunct branch of the Nile, which “remained at a high water level during the reigns of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, facilitating transport building materials to the Giza pyramid. Complex,” the team wrote in their post.

Researchers have known for decades that the extinct Khufu branch extended to the Giza Plateau in ancient times, but the new project aimed to determine exactly how water levels had changed over the past 8,000 years.

To reconstruct the Nile’s past, in May 2019 the team drilled five cores in the Giza floodplain. The researchers measured the amount of pollen found in different parts of the nuclei to determine how pollen levels changed over time. Periods with abundant water should have more pollen than dry periods, the study authors wrote.

Pollen analysis revealed that at the time The Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids of Giza, water was plentiful enough for the branch of Khufu to flow near the pyramids of Giza. “It was a natural canal in the time of the Fourth Dynasty [when the pyramids were built]“, Hader Sheisha, lead author of the study, a physical geographer at the University of Aix-Marseille in France, told Live Science in an email.

Sheisha noted that the water level was important for the construction of the pyramid. “It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to build the pyramids without the branch of Khufu and without it having a good level, which provides enough accommodation space for boats carrying such heavy blocks of stone,” she said. Exactly when the branch died out is uncertain, but research shows that 2,400 years ago the branch’s water level was very low.

The findings match well with previous archaeological discoveries, which revealed a port near the pyramids, as well as ancient papyrus records that detailed workers bringing limestone to Giza by boat, the team noted in their paper.

Live Science reached out to several experts not involved in the research for their input. Most were unable to comment at press time, but the one who did, Judith Bunbury, a geo-archaeologist at the University of Cambridge in the UK, praised the research.

“This article is an exciting contribution to our understanding of the dialogue between humans and their environment in Egypt in the context of climate change“Bunbury told Live Science in an email.

Source: allhomes.news

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The lost arm of the Nile helped the ancient Egyptians transport materials from the pyramids

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