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AfricaAn ancient arm of the Nile that passed through 30 pyramids in...

An ancient arm of the Nile that passed through 30 pyramids in Egypt discovered

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Scientists have discovered an ancient arm of the Nile, which has now dried up, but used to pass by thirty pyramids in Ancient Egypt, including those in Giza.

This 64 km long sleeve is known as Ahramat (“pyramids” in Arabic) and has long been buried under farmland and desert sand, the study found. It was used to transport the necessary materials for the construction of the monumental buildings more than 4000 years ago.

Its existence explains how so many pyramids were once built west of the Nile Valley, near the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. Now, in the same place where the river once ran, there is a strip of desert.

This vast area stretches from the Pyramids of Lish in the south to the Pyramids of Giza in the north, where those of Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinus are located. A total of 31 pyramids were built during the Old and Middle Kingdoms, between 4700 and 3700 BC.

Ancient Egyptian experts believe that the people of the time used the nearby waterway to build these gigantic complexes, a few kilometers from the main course of the Nile.

“But no one was sure about the location, shape and size of this water arm,” Eman Goneim, lead author of the study from the University of North Carolina (US), told AFP.

The team of researchers used radar satellite images to map it.

Field analyses, involving deep soil borings, confirmed the satellite data and revealed the hidden arm. It stretched for 64 km, with a width of between 200 and 700 meters, which is equal to the current course of the Nile.

The level of the Nile then was much higher than it is today. It had numerous branches crossing the flood plain. They are difficult to trace because the landscape has changed so much.

The pyramids were located on average only 1 km from the banks of the Ahramat branch. And those in Giza were even located on a plateau.

“Our research revealed that many of these pyramids had a raised causeway leading to temples located lower in the valley, which served as river ports,” Eman Ghoneim said.

According to her, all this is evidence that the Ahramat tributary played the role of a highway for transporting the huge quantities of materials and workers needed to build the pyramids. She adds that the temples on the banks of the Ahramat served as a pier for the pharaoh’s funeral retinue. “This is where the rites were performed before the body was transported to its final burial in the pyramid,” she said.

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