Scientists Uncover Buried Nile Branch That May Have Transported Pyramids’ Stones

© Sputnik . Mikhail Alaeddin / Go to the mediabankThe pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mykerin (left to right) on the Giza Plateau on the outskirts of Cairo.
The pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mykerin (left to right) on the Giza Plateau on the outskirts of Cairo. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.05.2024
Earlier scientists have suggested that to transport heavy blocks of granite and limestone over long distances, special construction water channels were used to reach a specially arranged port near the pyramids.
An international team of researchers, led by Eman Ghoneim from the US University of North Carolina, Wilmington, has discovered a long-buried branch of the Nile River that may have been used to transport the massive stone blocks for Egypt's pyramids.
The findings, detailed in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, revealed a 64-km-long river branch that once flowed alongside more than 30 pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Hidden under desert sands and farmlands for millennia, this ancient waterway, named Ahramat ("pyramids" in Arabic) could explain the strategic placement of these monumental structures along a now inhospitable desert strip in the Nile valley, dating back between 4,700 and 3,700 years ago.
The Giza pyramid complex and other ancient wonders near the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, such as the pyramids of Khafre, Cheops, and Mykerinos, may have relied on this river for transporting construction materials.
"But nobody was certain of the location, the shape, the size or proximity of this mega waterway to the actual pyramids site," said the lead study author, Eman Ghoneim of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
© Photo NatureThe mapping of the river
The mapping of the river - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.05.2024
The mapping of the river
According to Ghoneim, many pyramids had a "ceremonial raised walkway" running alongside the river, ending at the Valley Temples, which served as harbors. This indicates that the river played a key role in transporting building materials and laborers, the researcher said.
Tourists ride horses towards the Khafre Pyramid, center the Khufu Pyramid, right and the Menkaure Pyramid at the historical site of Giza near Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday, June 13, 2006. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 18.02.2024
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The researchers used radar satellite imagery to map the river branch, utilizing the technology’s unique ability to penetrate the sand surface and produce images of hidden features, including buried rivers and ancient structures.
Field surveys and sediment core analysis confirmed the river's presence, suggesting it began to be covered in sand around 4,200 years ago during a major drought.
Earlier in Egypt, in the necropolis of Saqqara, archaeologists discovered a tomb carved into the rock, the age of which exceeds 4,000 years.