Study: Pyramids Were Built Along Nile's Long-Lost Branch

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The Facts

  • According to a study published in Communications Earth & Environment on Thursday, a dried-up 40-mile-long branch of the Nile River was once "active and operational during the construction phase of" at least 31 pyramids in Egypt.

  • Using radar satellite imagery, the researchers identified the branch — called "Ahramat" (Arabic for pyramid) — near the pyramid fields. The findings were confirmed through geophysical surveys and sediment cores beneath the sand surface.

The Spin

Narrative A

The discovery of the Ahramat branch may reveal why ancient Egyptians chose the region to build the pyramids, in what way they used the mega waterway to transport the giant materials, and how the bodies of pharaohs were moved to their final burial place within the structure. The study provides a blueprint archaeologists can use to uncover one of history’s greatest mysteries.

Narrative B

The study's findings aren't surprising. At best, it could contribute to previous hypotheses that a branch of the Nile went close to the Great Pyramid at Giza or that the Egyptians had carved canals into the pyramid fields to move granite blocks sourced from locations hundreds of miles south of their sites. We may never know exactly how these monumental structures were built in a seemingly barren desert landscape.

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