In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a recent study concluded through pollen analysis that a mighty channel of the Nile, now disappeared, ran alongside the plateau when the pyramids of Giza were built. Its existence played a decisive role in the construction of the most famous monuments in Egypt, facilitating the transport of the blocks.
The existence of this arm, the so-called Khufu channel, had been known for decades. But the objective of the new study was to investigate exactly how the water levels had changed in the last eight thousand years.
The reason was to demonstrate the river’s role in the construction of the pyramids, since it was essential that it was large enough so the boats loaded with stones could navigate through it.
The channels that flow through the Nile Delta have varied in number and distribution over the millennia.
By taking samples of traces of pollen contained in the soil, the researchers have been able to reconstruct what the Giza plateau would have looked like in the middle of the third millennium BC, at the time of the fourth dynasty. The results have proven that there was abundant vegetation at that time, which would only be possible with the existence of a river branch.
This canal would have been active at least during the entire fourth dynasty when the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure were built.
This study is consistent with previous discoveries, which revealed the existence of a spring near the pyramids, as well as papyri showing workers bringing limestone blocks using boats.
According to the lead author of the study, Hader Shisha, “It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to build the pyramids without the Khufu canal and without it having a good [water] level, allowing enough space for boats capable of carrying heavy stone blocks to enter.”
Source: National Geographic.Abel GM, Journalist specialized in the field of history and travel.