(ORDO NEWS) — About 4,000 years ago, one of the branches of the Nile River flooded the area where the three pyramids of Giza now stand.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, as well as the accompanying pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, are the three most famous ancient monuments on Earth.
Together with the Great Sphinx and various temples, the Giza Plateau is a treasure trove of history, but also a mystery.
Leading experts claim that the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest pyramid built in Egypt, was built during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu. They claim that the construction of the pyramid was completed in about two decades.
Although there are no written records of when or how the pyramid was built, we do know that it was a massive undertaking and a project like no other.
In total, 2.3 million large blocks weighing 6 million tons were used in the construction of the Great Pyramid. Many of the stones did not have the same shape or size and were only roughly hewn.
A mortar was used to bond the outer layers. For the King’s Chamber, blocks of white limestone from Tura were delivered by boat along the Nile, and large granite blocks from Aswan weighed up to 80 tons or more. It should be borne in mind that Aswan is located 800 kilometers from Giza.
Experts say that these large stone blocks were delivered by boat from the quarry to the construction site. Whether this was actually the case remains a mystery.
It is speculated that the branch of the Nile River leading to Khufu once flowed so close to Giza that it could have carried the stones used to build the famous pyramids, according to research by scientists from several French institutions, one Chinese colleague and two Egyptian researchers.
In a series of sedimentary layers around Giza, they found fossilized pollen grains, which they used to study the history of the Khufu Plateau. The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers studied fossilized pollen grains trapped in sedimentary cores collected over many years from several Giza sites and carefully analyzed them to determine when they formed.
The researchers reconstructed the history of the branching of the Khufu River as it flowed and overflowed in the area over the past 8,000 years, combining the results of previous studies that studied the rock layers surrounding the pyramids.
After analyzing the time frame and course of this arm, they found that its level was quite high and reached almost to Giza itself, 7 kilometers from the Nile – about 4,000 years ago, when the three main pyramids (Menkaura, Khafre and Khufu) were built.
In their study, the scientists found fossilized pollen grains, mostly from flowering grasses that today grow along the Nile River. Several marsh plants have also been found in the area, indicating that Khufu’s water level remained high long enough for nature to consider it permanent.
In addition, the level of the branch began to decline shortly after the reign of King Tutankhamun, resulting in a much drier environment.
The study of the bones and teeth of mummies of that time showed that the area became much drier. The researchers suggest that other scientists can learn more about how other ancient civilizations were affected by changes in river flow using the same methods the researchers used.
While this study is very interesting because it tells us what Giza looked like before eight thousand years ago, it is by no means conclusive evidence that the pyramids were built at that time, nor does it prove that some of the largest blocks were indeed transported by boat directly to the construction site.
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