Scientists have clarified the method of delivery of blocks for the construction of the Great Pyramids

(ORDO NEWS) — Herodotus in his “History” argued that the blocks for the pyramid of Cheops and neighboring pyramids were delivered by water. But today the Nile is too far from the pyramids.

The study of cores taken in the floodplain made it possible to understand exactly how the most difficult issue of transporting such building material was solved.

The question of how ancient peoples moved large stone blocks over long distances is a constant concern not only for the general public, but also for scientists.

For example, there is still no consensus on the movement of huge monolithic moai statues around Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The history of the construction of the Egyptian pyramids is a little more understandable, but there are enough dark places in it.

The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the work of an international group of scientists in which the authors answer the question of how the blocks were moved to build the Great Pyramids on the Giza plateau.

Scientists have clarified the method of delivery of blocks for the construction of the Great Pyramids 2
Part of the building material was taken on the spot, on the Giza plateau, but it was clearly not enough. Ancient quarry at the pyramid of Cheops

The history of their construction is quite confusing. On the one hand, we have a written source where this issue seems to be disclosed. On the other hand, this source is the second book of the “History” of Herodotus.

Herodotus, of course, himself visited Egypt and personally collected information, only now he himself lived in the 5th century BC, and visited Egypt two thousand years after the construction of the pyramids in Giza.

By the time of his visit, one and a half thousand years had already passed since the completion of the construction of the last Egyptian pyramid (Pharaoh XII dynasty Amenemhat III).

The fact that he did not know the Egyptian language and spoke with the locals with the help of an interpreter, against this background, looks like a mere trifle.

Herodotus mentions that blocks for building pyramids were moved on water. Alas, to the modern channel of the Nile from the Giza plateau is quite a decent distance. Another ancient historian, Diodorus Siculus, who lived in the 1st century BC, writes about transporting a stone over a long distance – but does not talk about the method.

No matter how scarce this historical information is, they still suggest that there was some kind of waterway that came closer to the pyramids than the Nile, as we see it now.

A few years ago, archaeologists working near the pyramids found traces of water sedimentary rocks and suggested that this was the channel of the disappeared waterway – most likely the branches of the Nile. It was even called the arm of Cheops.

The authors of the new work aimed not only to confirm the existence of the ancient arm, but, first of all, to clarify its full flow, to clarify exactly what it was in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, when the Great Pyramids were built.

The logic here is that the blocks for the pyramids were massive, and a shallow or drying channel was not suitable for their transportation.

To reconstruct the area’s hydrological past, the researchers took five cores from the Nile floodplain near Giza. They measured the amount of pollen found in different parts of the cores. Time periods when water was plentiful should have contained more pollen than dry periods, the authors write.

Scientists have clarified the method of delivery of blocks for the construction of the Great Pyramids 3
A few years ago, divers found a harbor on the shores of the Gulf of Suez, through which they transported materials for the construction of the pyramids of Giza. The photo shows a stone anchor

Pollen analysis showed that at the time when the ancient Egyptians were building the pyramids of Giza, there was enough water for the Cheops arm to flow directly next to the pyramids.

Previously, there were suggestions that the Egyptians dug a canal through which they let water from the Nile in order to get a river route to the construction site.

Now it is clear that the Nile at that time was quite full-flowing and instead of an artificial channel at the foot of the pyramids, its natural branch flowed.

According to scientists, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to build pyramids without this branch of the Nile and without the high water level in it. Exactly when the branch disappeared is not exactly known. But the study shows that already 2,400 years ago the water level in the Cheops arm was very low, it dried up.

The results of the study are in good agreement with previous archaeological finds, which showed the presence of a harbor near the pyramids. The paper also notes that a similar picture follows from ancient papyri found several years ago. They detail the workers who brought the limestone to Giza by boat.


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