Massive Catering Operation to Feed Pyramid Builders Uncovered
Archaeologists in Giza have discovered the remains of what is believed to be a massive catering operation for some 10,000 workers building the pyramid for pharaoh Menkaure, the third and last pyramid in Giza.
Located south of the Sphinx in the remains of a village called ‘the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders’, the team of archaeologists discovered an area large enough to hold about 55 cattle with feeding pens, possible slaughter areas on the edge of the town and huge piles of animal bones - approximately 25,000 sheep and goats, 8,000 cattle and 1,000 pig bones have been uncovered.
Based on an analysis of the bones and other discoveries in the workers’ village, researchers estimate that more than 4,000lbs of cattle, sheep and goat meat were slaughtered every day (approximately 11 cattle and 37 sheep or goats) to feed the pyramid builders. In order to provide this quantity, researchers suggest that the ancient Egyptians would have needed a herd of 21,900 cattle and 54,750 sheep and goats to maintain regular delivery to the workers.
In addition to the meat, workers would also have been supplied with fish, grain, beer and other products. From analyses carried out on skeletons of workers found in a nearby cemetery, demonstrating healed bones, it appears that the workers were well looked after with medical care and a good supply of food.