One of Earth’s great mysteries of how the Egyptians moved pyramid stones has been solved
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It’s a mystery that has been lost to the sands of time, so how did the Egyptians build the pyramids at Giza?
One group of archaeologists thinks they may have uncovered the secret, and no, it doesn’t involve aliens (Please put your tinfoil hats away).
Instead, historians have figured out how the ancient civilisation moved huge stone slabs just by using the land around them.
It’s even more impressive when you realise that The Great Pyramid has over 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite alone – each weighing at least two tons.
With construction beginning nearly 4,500 years ago, it was thought that the secret of the 'Seventh Wonder' would stay buried.
Now, scientists believe that the ancient civilisation used a tributary of the Nile to help them haul the huge stones to the desert.
Eager to prove their theory, a group of researchers began by testing five fossilised soil samples from the Giza floodplain.
A lab in France then analysed them for pollen and vegetation commonly found around the Nile, which would prove there was once an ancient waterway.
Collecting the bore sample was intense work, as archeologists had to dig up to 9 meters (30ft) deep in order to capture thousands of years of Egypt’s history.
Amazingly though, they were able to confirm the existence of the Khufu Branch, which carried the stone slabs to their final resting place - before it dried up in 600 BC.
The international team of researchers also discovered 61 species of plants, during the intense study.
Speaking about the discovery, environmental geographer Hader Sheisha said that it would be ‘impossible’ to build the pyramids without this tributary.
Even more incredibly, the discovery had been inspired by a piece of papyrus that was found in the Red Sea.
The parchment fragment recounts how one official, 'Merer', had to transport limestone up the Nile to a construction site in Giza.
“I was so interested because this confirms that the transport of the pyramid’s building materials were moved over water,” said Ms Shiesha, recalling the moment to The New York Times.
While the waterway may be long gone, the study author believes that its discovery will help uncover more secrets about the pyramids – such as how they hoisted the stone up.
She told the New York Times: “Knowing more about the environment can solve part of the enigma of the pyramids’ construction.”
Hopefully, the secret doesn’t stay buried for long.