Great Pyramid of Egypt. Source: BigStockPhoto

Archaeologists Announce that New Discoveries Solve Mystery of How the Great Pyramid Was Built


A new set of investigations in ancient Egypt have led to some startling discoveries – the translation of an ancient papyrus, the unearthing of an ingenious system of waterworks, and the discovery of a 4,500-year-old ceremonial boat – may be the final pieces to the millennia-old puzzle of how the Great Pyramid of Egypt was really built.

Archaeologists have reported their incredible new findings to  Mail Online , which will be reported in full in tonight’s Channel 4 documentary ‘Egypt’s Great Pyramid: The New Evidence’ in the United Kingdom.  

Despite centuries of research into the pyramids of Giza, there has still been no definitive explanation as to how the ancient Egyptians cut, transported, and assembled millions of limestone and granite blocks, each weighing an average of 2.3 metric tons. “For the construction of the pyramids, there is no single theory that is 100% proven or checked; They are all theories and hypotheses,” said Hany Helal, Vice President of the Heritage Innovation Preservation institute.

The Great Pyramid of Giza. Credit: BigStockPhoto

The Great Pyramid of Giza. Credit: BigStockPhoto

How Were the Stone Blocks Transported?

It has long been established that the limestone was quarried in Tura about eight miles away, while the granite used in the interior of the Great Pyramid was quarried 533 miles away in Aswan. However, archaeologists have not been able to determine how the stones were transported to Giza for the construction of the pyramid of Khufu.  A study in April, 2014 , claimed to have solved part of the puzzle – ancient Egyptians moved massive stone blocks across the desert by wetting the sand in front of a contraption built to pull the heavy objects. But three separate discoveries in the last few years are now painting a different picture.



New Evidence Reveals Blocks Arrived by Boat

The discovery of an ancient papyrus in a cave at the ancient Red Sea port of Wadi el-Jarf, the unearthing of a lost waterway beneath the Giza plateau and the finding of a ceremonial boat, now strongly suggests that thousands of laborers transported 170,000 tons of limestone along the Nile River Nile wooden boats.

An Ancient Egyptian Boat. Credit:  Canadian Museum of History

The Diary of a Pyramid Builder

The 4,500-year-old papyrus found at Wadi el-Jarf offers a significant insight into the construction of the pyramids. Written by Merer, an overseer in charge of a large team of elite workers, the ancient logbook from the 27 th year of the reign of the pharaoh Khufu, described in detail the construction of the Great Pyramid.

“The hieroglyphic letters … detailed over the course of several months the construction operations for the Great Pyramid, which was nearing completion, and the work at the limestone quarries at Tura on the opposite bank of the Nile River,” reports “Merer’s logbook, written in a two-column daily timetable, reports on the daily lives of the construction workers and notes that the limestone blocks exhumed at Tura, which were used to cover the pyramid’s exterior, were transported by boat along the Nile River and a system of canals to the construction site, a journey that took between two and three days.”

Remnants of an Ancient System of Canals

If this account is accurate, where are the canals that Merer speaks of? Until recently, there was little evidence of such a system of waterworks that could have been used to transport the giant blocks. However, archaeologist Mark Lehner has now revealed the discovery of a lost waterway beneath the Giza plateau. “We’ve outlined the central canal basin which we think was the primary delivery area to the foot of the Giza Plateau,” he told Mail Online.

Transport Vessels Found

Seven boat pits have been found in the area around Khufu’s pyramid, two on the south side, two on the east side, two in between the queens’ pyramids and one located beside the mortuary temple and causeway. In addition, archaeologists have found ceremonial boats, which reveal in detail how the ships were constructed, and detailed relief carvings of hundreds of transport vessels.

3,800-year-old relief carving in Egypt depicts over 100 boats. Credit: Josef Wegner.

3,800-year-old relief carving in Egypt depicts over 100 boats. Credit: Josef Wegner.

The details of these new discoveries are being broadcast for the first time in ‘Egypt’s Great Pyramid: The New Evidence’ being aired tonight on Channel 4 at 8pm BST.

Top image: Great Pyramid of Egypt. Source: BigStockPhoto

By April Holloway


Simple answer - in bits, then reassembled. Not possible with 250 ton granite blocks.

Cousin_Jack's picture

Ask anyone how machinery weighing hundreds of tons was moved a few hundred years back, and they’ll struggle at the answer to that too.

In Anglia et Cornubia.

So much for these so - called experts, and their 2.5 ton block. At best, the program was nothng more than a totally amateuristic attempt to justify the current beliefs regarding the building of the pyramids. This was all simply a program to show the average viewer just how much science knows about one of the greatest mysteries in archaeology, and had little to do with the real facts of the construction process.

Moving a 2.5 ton block of rock with primitive tools has little to do with moving a 250 ton block of the same rock with those same primitive tools. Primative tools simply could not have accomplished that feat, simply due to the structural limitations of the available materials.

The fact remains, that the pyramids were built, and they stand today as a testimony to the fact that, somewhere in the distant past, an advanced civilization played a vital part in that monumental effort. Whether that advanced civilization was terrestial or extraterrestial is up for debate, but one thing is certain; they posessed a level of technology which we have not yet achieved.

R. Lee Bowers

On the related tv program, only a small (2.5 ton?) block was used and manhandled. I believe many of the internal blocks weighed in at 250 tons. You couldn't get enough people near such a block to manhandle it, and I'm not so sure the rollers used would have borne such a weight. Why do they always use the easiest option to prove (?) their theories?

Back to the drawing board!

The photo in this article that is labeled "The Great Pyramid of Giza" is not the Great Pyramid. That is Khafre's pyramid. *facepalm*


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