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When the pyramids were on the banks of the Nile

When the pyramids were on the banks of the Nile

How does the discovery of the lost arm of the Nile, by an international team of researchers, shed new light on the construction and location of Egypt's pyramids?

It was known that the Nile River, the largest and most turbulent river in Africa, played a central role in building the pyramids to transport materials and workers, but a big question remained that needed to be resolved: Why did the largest pyramid complexes not fall? On the banks of the Nile River, but a few kilometers away on the edge of the desert. However, at the time the pyramids were built, it was not yet a desert.

After a long period called the African Humid Period, the Nile had a much higher flow, and many branches and arms meandered across the floodplain. By discovering and tracking the path of one of these arms buried today under the sand, Egyptian and American researchers have just proven in a study published in the journal earth and environment communications, That 4,000 years ago, the pyramids of Egypt were located on the banks of the river on the bank of this arm of the Nile, which has now disappeared.

It is called the Arm of the Pyramids, or Arm of the Pyramids in Arabic, and for good reason. Along these 64 kilometers are located the largest pyramids in Egypt, from the most famous of which are the pyramids of Giza in the north to Lisht in the south, and there are at least 31 pyramids that have put their feet in the water!

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A waterway of great importance

You have to imagine a completely different landscape recreated by this international team. Thanks to satellite radar, highly sophisticated geography and drilling techniques, they were able to begin to create an ancient hydrological map of the area, showing in particular that this arm of the pyramids, the Arm of the Pyramids, was a waterway of great importance running around it. To the west of the Nile is sometimes more than 10 kilometers from the present Nile River and its gradual drying up is linked to a decrease in rainfall, which also explains why over time the pyramids and Egyptian dynasties built them lower in order to stay closer to the Nile River. water.

Other French researchers had previously done so, in a study published in 2022 in a journal procedures A team from the American Academy of Sciences has succeeded in reconstructing part of the disappeared river at the foot of the Giza Pyramids. All this research on the hinterland of the Nile River, and this new geographical and ecological approach makes it possible to clarify some of the secrets of the pyramids, especially the giant pyramidal complexes of the Giza Plateau, at the foot of which there are bridges leading to the temples below. The temples were then located on the edge of this disappearing arm of the Nile, and thus served as ports for transporting men and materials.

To what extent can we trace the flow of time and the fluctuations of the Nile River along its banks, on which the pyramids of Egypt were built?

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