It’s a question which has perplexed architects, scientists and conspiracy theorists alike – how was the Great Pyramid built?
But we may be one step closer to understanding how people moved the huge blocks of the Great Pyramid, which was finished in around 2560BC, after a construction lasting 20 years.
A 4,500-year-old ramp systemunearthed in a quarry in the Eastern Desertseems to have been built to drag huge alabaster stones up a ramp, using sleds and rope, Live Science reports.
The ramp was found at Hatnub by researchers from the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo – and has two staircases lined with post holes.
Co-director of the project Yannis Gourdon says, ‘‘This system is composed of a central ramp flanked by two staircases with numerous post holes.’
‘Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more.’
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Last year an ancient papyrus found in the ancient port of Wadi-al-Jarf on the Red Sea, threw light on how the blocks may have been transported to the site.
The 4,500-year-old document is the only first-person account of the Great Pyramid’s construction, according to IFL Science.
In it, an Egyptian official called Merer solves one of the mysteries of the Great Pyramid – how the huge limestone and granite blocks were transported to the site.
Merer’s diary reveals that the limestone was taken from the Tora quarry in boats, and that blocks were ferried to the site on man-made canals.
Merer’s diary says that his crew opened giant dykes to divert water from the Nile, channeling it into canals leading to the Pyramids.