This is how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids

This is how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids

Majestic Egyptian pyramids It is a testament to the ingenuity and power of an ancient civilization that continues to captivate us to this day. But why were the pyramids built in a desert area that seemed inhospitable? Now, a new study appears to have solved the long-standing mystery about the location of such symbolic structures: the answer is that before it was a desert area, The pyramids were built under one of the branches of the Nile River It is currently dry and buried under sand and agricultural land.

This is how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramidsMid-Journey / Sarah Romero

How did they move so many stones?

It is one of the great mysteries of history. According to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 31 structures, including the Pyramids of Giza, were at one time near the banks of a river buried under sand and silt for thousands of years. This information would solve the great mystery of how the pyramid builders were able to transport so much archaeological material. How were the thousands of tons of stone used in its construction transported there? Even with modern technology, transporting such a large amount of stone would not be an easy task. .

Sediments from the area indicate that this area was at one time a much more arable area; especially About 4700 years agoWhen the Nile River branched much more than it does now. It is the same moment in history when the construction of the first pyramids began in Egypt.

“It makes sense for massive structures, such as pyramids and temples, to be built near major waterways to facilitate the transportation of construction materials and workers,” the researchers wrote in their study published in the journal. Earth and Environment Communications. “However, no waterway has been found near the largest pyramid field in Egypt, as the Nile River is located several kilometers away.”

It was really strange to know that more than 30 pyramids were built located along a vertical strip between Giza and Lasht along the edge of the Western Desert, part of the Sahara Desert (including the Great Pyramid of Giza and one of the only pyramids). The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World which still exists), and the Nile River is very far away (from our current perspective).

Answer: An ancient river arm near the pyramid fieldsMid-Journey / Sarah Romero

Lost river system

The answer is that they were not that far away, but the pyramids were actually built along a branch of a river system that had been lost over time. despite of It is not a new theoryIn the current study, evidence was provided to determine the actual location of the waterway used in the past to transport these large quantities of materials.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers studied satellite images to find the possible location of an ancient river arm running along the foothills of the Western Sahara Plateau, near the pyramids. Then they used Geophysical studies with sediment core analysisThis allowed them to reveal the presence of historic river deposits and ancient water channels hidden beneath the current terrain. They found a discovery worth highlighting: a 64-kilometre-long arm of the river that once flowed and then dried up, and remains hidden, buried and forgotten, until now.

This would give credence to the idea that the ancient Egyptians relied on the Nile to transport building materials.Mid-Journey / Sarah Romero

Why did this arm of the river disappear? According to scientists, the accumulation of wind-blown sand, which may have been linked to the great drought that began about 4,200 years ago, played a crucial role in this transformation. This climate change may have contributed to the gradual drying out and eventual disappearance of this ancient waterway under layers of sand and soil. As was the case, the Giza pyramids were located on a plateau about one kilometer from the river bank. Researchers have suggested naming the river arm “Pyramids”, Which means pyramid in Arabic; A river would have facilitated the transport of enormous masses of stone and other materials to the works and could also explain why there were so many pyramids centered in this sector of the desert. The proximity of the river made these areas easy to access at the time of construction.

but That's not all. The discovery of the Ahramat Branch of the Nile River opens up new and interesting possibilities for archaeological excavation, as it can determine the locations of other extinct branches of the Nile River and identify potential sites for future excavations, which in turn could reveal new treasures hidden along these ancient branches. River banks.

“Uncovering this extinct arm of the Nile could provide a more accurate idea of ​​where ancient settlements may have been located relative to it and prevent their loss due to rapid urbanization. This could improve protection measures for Egyptian cultural heritage“, write the authors.

The watercourse of the ancient Rama Ahram is bordered by a large number of pyramidsIman Ghoneim and others. Alabama.


  • Ghoneim, E., Ralph, T. J., Onstein, S. et al. The Egyptian pyramid chain was built along the now abandoned Ahramat branch of the Nile. Common Earth Environment 5, 233 (2024).

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