Category Archives: AFRICA

Ornately-tattooed 3,000-year-old mummy discovered by archaeologists

Ornately-tattooed 3,000-year-old mummy discovered by archaeologists

In 2016, an ancient Egyptian mummy with symbolic tattoos was discovered by a team of archeologists, they thought were first of their kind.

The 3000-year-old mummified woman was tattooed with various symbols, including cows, lotus and divine eyes, which could represent her religious status or practices.

It was the first time that researchers had an Egyptian mummy with tattoos showing recognizable objects rather than abstract patterns and designs that made this discovery significant!

The mummy, as the team pointed out, was uncovered at a site near the western bank of River Nile.

Between 1550 BC and 1080 BC, the area was home to a village, known as Deir el-Medina, which was populated by the artisans and workers responsible for building the royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings.

It was while examining the skeletal remains at the Deir el-Medina site that Stanford bioarchaeologist Anne Austin, who was working at the time for the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology, first stumbled upon the fascinating symbols on the mummy’s neck.

She initially thought the markings had been drawn on the woman’s neck.

As Austin explained, it was customary in ancient Egypt to put amulets around the deceased’s neck for burial.

At times, the amulets were simply painted or even tattooed on the torso, as was probably the case with this mummy.

According to the team, further analysis using infrared scanning revealed a bunch of other markings that were quite possibly intended as permanent skin adornments than just ritualistic designs.

Along with archaeologist Cédric Gobeil, Austin cataloged over dozens of these symbols, some of which had clear religious significance. Speaking about the find, Austin said at the time:

As we started to analyze the markings on the arms, we realized that these markings were shrunken and distorted. Therefore, they must have been made prior to mummification… Several are associated with the goddess Hathor, such as cows with special necklaces. Others — such as snakes placed on the upper arms — are also associated with female deities in ancient Egypt.

Wadjet eyes, which are basically divine eyes representing God’s protection, were tattooed all over the mummy’s neck, shoulders, and back.

Along the mummified female’s neck, these marks might have also pertained to what are known as nefer symbols, or “the sign of beauty and goodness”. Austin said:

At the nearby site of Deir el-Bahri, the combination of the Wadjet and nefer have been interpreted as a formula for the phrase ‘to do good.

As the researchers pointed out, the tattoos’ position along the mummy’s throat (as in voice box) seems to suggest that the woman invoked the power to do good, every time she spoke or sang.

The discovery, according to Austin, alluded to the symbolic nature and role of tattooing in ancient Egypt. She went on to say:

Interestingly, all of the tattoos found so far have been exclusively on women, though we are curious to see if that trend continues as more tattoos are identified.

And finally, in case you are wondering, in spite of these particular set of tattoos being around 3000-years old, they are not the oldest known tattoos ever discovered by archaeologists.

That honor actually belongs to the 5300-years old Ötzi the Iceman, who was found quite unintentionally by a group of hikers in 1991 in the Oetztal Alps (in modern-day north Italy).

Egypt unveils biggest ancient coffin find in over a century

Egypt unveils discovery of 30 ancient coffins with mummies inside

On Saturday, the Egyptian authorities revealed 30 ancient wooden sarcophagi found in Luxor, including mummies indeed.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities secretary general Mostafa Waziri told reporters that the discovery was the country’s largest in more than a century.

After years of foreign archeological digs, it is the first cache of coffins to be found in an Egyptian venture.

Egyptian archeologist opens a coffin belonging to a man in front of Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor on October 19, 2019.

“The last one was in 1891, [led by] foreigners. 1881, [also] foreigners. But … 2019 is an Egyptian discovery,” Waziri said. “This is an indescribable feeling, I swear to God.”

The discovery was unveiled in front of Hatshepsut Temple at Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany described the 3,000-year-old coffins, which were buried in Al-Asasif Cemetery, as “exceptionally well-preserved, exceptionally well-colored.”

They contained the mummified remains of men and women, as well as two children, who are believed to be from the middle class, Waziri said.

While the mummies were found completely wrapped in cloth, their genders could be identified by the shape of the hands-on the coffin.

Coffins that were carved with the hands open meant they were female, while if the hands were balled into fists, they held males, according to Waziri.

Tourists view the newly discovered coffins at Hatshepsut Temple on October 19, 2019.

According to archaeologist Zahi Hawass, finding coffins belonging to a child is a rare occurrence. The discovery of two has caused tremendous interest “worldwide,” he said.

The coffins were sealed, stacked on top of each other and arranged in two rows about three feet below the sand, he said.

They are adorned with intricate carvings and designs, including Egyptian deities, hieroglyphics, and scenes from the Book of the Dead, a series of spells that enabled the soul to navigate the afterlife. Names of the dead were also carved onto some of the coffins, Hawass said.

The inscriptions are especially unique because of the vivid colors, which stayed intact even though the coffins were buried for thousands of years. This is because ancient Egyptians used natural colors from stones, such as limestone, red oak, and turquoise, mixed with egg whites, according to Waziri.

After painting, egg yolk was mixed with candle wax and spread over the coffin to maintain a natural shine, which is still visible. he said.
Officials said the first coffin was discovered because its head was partially exposed. When they continued to dig, 17 more coffins were found. After those coffins were excavated, the archeologists discovered an additional 12.

The cache of coffins was most likely hidden to keep tomb robbers away from them, according to Waziri.

An open coffin displayed in Luxor reveals a mummy.
An open coffin displayed in Luxor reveals a mummy.

Hawass told reporters during a press event that the discovery reveals important details about ancient Egyptian burial rights, such as how they respected the dead regardless of gender or age.
“This will enrich our knowledge as Egyptologists about the belief of the afterlife,” Hawass said.

The mummies will be restored before being moved to a museum of ancient Egyptian artifacts near the Giza pyramids. The coffins will be given their own exhibit.

“They will be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be opening at the end of 2020, as a new surprise for our visitors,” said El-Enany.

Temple of Ptolemy IV Discovered in Southern Egypt

Temple of Ptolemy IV Discovered in Southern Egypt

The remains of Ptolemy 4 Philopator’s temple were incidentally stumbled upon when an Egyptian archeological mission was digging in Kom Ishqaw City, Sohag Governorate.

Remains of Ptolemy IV temple discovered by Egypt’s antiquity ministry

It was a nome in Egypt under the Greek Empire rule, earlier known as the Per-Wadjet.

During an excavation in Kom Shaqao Sohag, a task from the Ministry of Antiquities, ruins of King Ptolemy IV’s temple were uncovered.

Parts of the ruins had been discovered by chance during the supplying of sewage lines in the city of Tama, Sohag early in September.

The Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa al-Waziry said in a statement on the ministry’s official Facebook page that the sewage work was immediately stopped by a task team from the Ministry of Antiquities, assigned to conduct archaeological excavations in the area.

According to the head of the Central Department for Antiquities of Egypt, Mohamed Abdel Badie, the mission then started work in the area south of the wall discovered during the drainage project.

The expedition unearthed the southwestern corner of the temple and the rest of the wall heading from north to south.

These ruins featured inscriptions of the ancient Egyptian god Habi accompanied by many different animals, and the remains of texts containing Ptolemy IV’s name, according to Badei.

Another limestone wall heading westward was also found, covered with limestone slabs.

Kom Shaqao was the capital of the tenth region of Upper Egypt, west of the city of Tama, which was once called Wagit. The oldest mention of Wagit was in the Fourth Dynasty.

King Tut’s Coffin Has been Removed from his Tomb for the First Time in History

King Tut’s Coffin Has been Removed from his Tomb for the First Time in History

King Tutankhamun’s outer coffin is being restored for the Grand Egyptian Museum’s opening in late 2020. The pharaoh’s tomb was restored earlier this year.

From the time that King Tutankhamun’s body was placed, the outermost sarcophagus had never left the 3300-year-old tomb.

Even in 1922, following the discovery of the tomb by the British archeologist Howard Carter, the outer coffin made from wood and gold stayed in the Valley of Kings — until now.

An almost 10-year redevelopment of Tut’s tomb was completed in earlier this year by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. Now, The Los Angeles Times wrote, they are going to restore his golden coffin, removing it from its resting place and allowing experts to finally get a good look.

The intricate project is largely motivated by the impending opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in late 2020, which will overlook the Pyramids of Giza. In addition to the three coffins (one inside the other) that house Tut’s body, the exhibit will showcase the numerous relics discovered in his tomb.

The innermost coffin is made of solid gold, while the middle coffin is built from gilded wood and multi-colored glass.

Carter’s discovery of Tut’s resting place in the Valley of the Kings was the first time that a royal tomb from the time of ancient Egypt had been discovered so remarkably intact. It contained a plethora of stunning royal treasures as well, such as a dagger made from a meteorite.

After the discovery, two of the three coffins were subsequently transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo while the outer coffin was left in the king’s tomb. Only in July, 97 years later, was the casket removed under intense security in order for it to be fumigated for an entire week.

With careful yet thorough restoration now underway, experts have had the rare opportunity to inspect the outer coffin up close and reveal photos for all to see.

Restoration of the outer coffin will take at least eight months, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany said.

Given the damage to the coffin that experts have now seen, however, Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany said it would take a minimum of eight months to restore it. The general director of First Aid Conservation and Transportation of Artifacts Eissa Zeidan said the coffin is about “30 percent damaged” due to the heat and humidity inside the tomb.

“The coffin is in a very bad condition, very deteriorated,” said Zeidan. “We found many cracks, we found many missing parts, missing layers.”

El-Enany confirmed as much when he said the coffin was in a “very fragile state,” with repair work on its cracks being the foremost priority. The 7-foot, the 3-inch-long coffin has been safely kept in one of the 17 laboratories within the new museum.

Restorers have been working on numerous items found in King Tut’s tomb, of which there are more than 5,000 — all of which will be showcased at the Grand Egyptian Museum. With more than 75,000 square feet of real estate, it’ll be the biggest museum on Earth exclusively dedicated to one civilization.

A woman looks at the golden sarcophagus belonging to Tut, who died at the age of 19.

Restoration of King Tut’s tomb came after years of tourists trudging through the majestic World Heritage site. Both the Getty Conservation Institute and Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities committed to the extensive revamp nearly a decade ago and finally finished in February.

Their efforts included installing an air filtration system to regulate the humidity, carbon dioxide, and dust levels inside. Lighting, as well as a new platform from which tourists can see the sarcophagus, were added too.

The linen-wrapped mummy of King Tutankhamun displayed in his climate-controlled glass case in the underground tomb KV62.

Of greatest concern were the strange brown spots on the tomb’s paintings, which suggested microbial growth in the room. These were found to have been mere discolorations due to fungus that had been there since the tomb’s discovery.

Thankfully, neither fungus nor anything else has taken down Tut’s tomb. Now, after a long period of restoration, it will live on for many more visitors to see. And after the most recent restoration of the outermost coffin, visitors will have the most complete picture yet of how the boy king was buried.

When work on the pharaoh’s gilded coffin concludes and the Grand Egyptian officially opens, it will be the first time in history that King Tut’s three coffins will be on display together.

Divers find temples and treasure in Egypt’s ancient city of Heracleion

Divers find temples and treasure in Egypt’s ancient city of Heracleion

A trove of artefacts, including the remains of a temple, gold jewelry, coins and the missing piece of a ceremonial ship, have been found by divers swimming through Heracleion, an ancient Egyptian city now underwater.

Heracleion — named after the legendary Hercules, who ancient people believed actually visited the city — was a bustling metropolis in its day.

When it was built in about the eighth century B.C., it sat on the edge of the Nile River, next to the Mediterranean Sea. Cleopatra was even crowned in one of its temples.

Then, about 1,500 years ago, it flooded and now sits under about 150 feet (45 meters) of water.

Ever since archaeologists discovered it in 2000, Heracleion (also known as Thonis) has slowly revealed its ancient secrets.

During the latest two-month excavation, archaeologists were delighted to find the remains of a large temple, including its stone columns, and the crumbling remnants of a small Greek temple, which was buried under 3 feet (1 m) of sediment on the seafloor, the ministry reported.

The excavation team of Egyptian and European archaeologists was led by Franck Goddio, the underwater archaeologist who discovered Heracleion 19 years ago.

Together, the team used a scanning tool that transmits images of artifacts resting on the seafloor and those buried beneath it.

A gold earring found at the underwater site.

The scanning tool revealed part of a boat. During past excavations, archaeologists had found 75 boats, although not all of them were complete.

This new finding was the missing part of boat 61, which was likely used for ceremonial purposes, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement.

It wasn’t a small boat, either. When the archaeologists pieced boat 61 together, it measured 43 feet long and 16 feet across (13 m by 5 m). 

The ship held tiny treasures — coins of bronze and gold, as well as jewelry. The bronze coins uncovered at Heracleion date to the time of King Ptolemy II, who ruled from 283 to 246 B.C.

The team also discovered pottery dating to the third and fourth centuries B.C., the ministry noted.

One of the coins found during the underwater excavation.

The team also looked at the underwater site of Canopus, which, like Heracleion, is located in the Gulf of Abu Qir, Alexandria.

At Canopus, the archaeologists found an ancient building complex that extended the city’s footprint southward about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer), the ministry said.

Canopus also held other treasures; the archaeologists found an ancient port, coins from the Ptolemaic and Byzantine periods, and rings and earrings from Ptolemaic times.

All of these artifacts indicate that Canopus was a busy city from the fourth century B.C. to the Islamic era.

9-Year-Old Kid Literally Stumbled on Stunning Fossils of a New Hominid

9-Year-Old Kid Literally Stumbled on Stunning Fossils of a New Hominid

In South Africa, a young boy walking his dog has unconsciously stumbled through a pair of about 2 million years old which is now supposed to fill an integral gap in our knowledge of human evolution.

Nine-years-old Matthew Berger and his dog stumbled in a cavern close Johannesburg in 2008, in Malapa, South Africa, over the partially fossilized bones of an adult woman and a young man.

Since then, there has been much debate over whether these remains are genuinely distinct from previously discovered species.

Nine-year-old Matthew Berger upon the skeleton’s discovery.

The bones were found to be a close relative of the Homo genus and have come to be known as Australopithecus sediba (Au. Sediba) — “Australopithecus” means “southern ape.” And now, according to a new study, the remains are believed to be the bridge in human evolution between early humans and our more apelike ancestors.

Australopithecus sediba is thought to come between the 3-million-year-old apelike species known as Australopithecus afarensis (from which the famous “Lucy” specimen comes) and the “Handyman” species known as Homo habilis, who used tools 1.5 million to 2.1 million years ago.

And these latest Au. Sediba skeletons are even more complete than the famous “Lucy,” whose 1974 discovery was previously unprecedented.

“The anatomies we are seeing in Australopithecus sediba are forcing us to reassess the pathway by which we became human,” reported Jeremy DeSilva, co-author of the study.

The skeleton of Au. sediba on display at Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa.

Though some researchers have noted this discovery as indeed that of a unique species since its uncovering in 2008, this latest study illustrates precisely how Au. sediba is, in fact, distinct.

The study thoroughly describes the new species’ anatomy and has found similarities with early members of the Homo genus “suggesting a close evolutionary relationship.”

The hands of the nearly 2-million-year-old Au. sediba resemble those of Homo habilis but are not the same, which suggests that the former was also able to use tools or at the very least, had a more precise grip than that of earlier species.

Australopithecus sediba is also now believed to have walked on two feet, though it would have spent much of its time in the trees, “perhaps for foraging and protection from predators,” the study said.

And all this, remember, came from an accidental discovery.

“Imagine for a moment that Matthew stumbled over the rock and continued following his dog without noticing the fossil,” the authors wrote.

“If those events had occurred instead, our science would not know about Au. sediba, but those fossils would still be there, still encased in calcified clastic sediments, still waiting to be discovered.”

Roman Senate Building Unearthed in Egypt

Remains of Graeco-Roman Senate Building Unearthed in Egypt

With a history as rich as Egypt’s, there’s really no limit to the type of discoveries that can be unearthed between Sinai to Siwa and down to Aswan.

North Sinai holds the remains of the ancient Egyptian city of Pelusium – an area now known as Tell Farama, which dates back to the Greek, Roman, and Ptolemaic ages.

Remains of a huge Graeco-Roman building, believed to have been the Roman Empire’s main senate, has been unearthed at the Pelusiam archaeological site near North Sinai.

The building was found by the Egyptian archaeological mission working on location in Tel al-Farma in cooperation with the Institute of Archeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The 2,500 sqm building consists of bricks and limestone and contains three main amphitheaters covered with marble.

With the remains of three 60 cm-thick circular benches found at the third amphitheater made of red brick. 

“The building was most probably used as a headquarters for the Senate Council of Pelusium, one of the North Sinai’s old cities,” said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The initial studies conducted on architectural planning and the construction of the building indicated that it was used to hold meetings for the citizens’ representatives.

During the rule of the Ptolemies and Romans for taking important decisions about the public affairs of the city and its citizens, Waziri said.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, said the 2,500-square-metre building shaped from outside as a rectangular, with circular terraces and the main gate located on the eastern side.

He pointed out that the interior design of the building consists of the remains of three 60 cm-thick circular benches which were built of red brick and covered with marble.

The mission also uncovered the main streets of Pelusium city, Ashmawy added.

He explained that during the fifth and sixth century AD, the building was used as a quarry where the stones, bricks, and columns were extracted from their original places for use in the construction of other buildings in the city.

New Discovery Finally Explains How The Egyptians Built Their Great Pyramids

Scientists Finally Discover Ancient Blueprints Showing How The Pyramids Were Built.

Built 4,500 years ago during Egypt’s Old Kingdom, the pyramids of Giza are more than elaborate tombs — they’re also one of the historians’ best sources of insight into how the ancient Egyptians lived since their walls are covered with illustrations of agricultural practices, city life, and religious ceremonies. But on one subject, they remain curiously silent. They offer no insight into how the pyramids were built.

It’s a mystery that has plagued historians for thousands of years, leading the wildest speculators into the murky territory of alien intervention and perplexing the rest. But the work of several archaeologists in the last few years has dramatically changed the landscape of Egyptian studies. After millennia of debate, the mystery might finally be over.

Researchers Discovered The Only First-Person Account Of The Great Pyramid’s Construction

A team of Egyptian and French scholars discovered a papyrus diary written by an official named Merer. What makes this discovery so compelling is that his diary is the world’s sole first-person description of how the Great Pyramid was built. Archaeologists found Merer’s papyrus in the Red Sea port of Wadi al-Jarf.

In his diary, Merer references working for “the noble Ankh-haf,” who was Pharaoh Khufu’s half-brother, and that he was in charge of about 40 men. These documents evidence that Ankh-haf was one of those in charge of the Great Pyramid’s construction.

The Pyramid’s Limestone Was Transported Via A System Of Canals

In Merer’s diary, he recounts how limestone quarried in Tura (about 12 miles south of Cairo) was transported by boat across the Nile River to Giza through specially built canals built by his team. One such vessel was unearthed at the bottom of the pyramids.

After traversing the river, the stone blocks were then deposited near the building site by workers using ropes. The blocks were further moved on tracks. The workers transported approximately 170,000 tons of limestone in this manner.

It’s believed a similar system was used to move granite from Aswan, which is located several hundred miles from Giza.

The Pyramid’s Stone Blocks Are Massively Heavy

Around 2550 B.C., Pharaoh Khufu started construction on the Great Pyramid at Giza. It is made up of approximately 2.3 million stone blocks. Each block is absolutely massive and weighs between 2.5 to 15 tons. When the Great Pyramid was built, it was reportedly 481 feet tall. Over time, the structure sunk a little into the desert and is now 455 feet tall.

The second pyramid was built about 30 years later by Khufu’s son, Pharaoh Khafre, who also constructed the Sphinx. Pharaoh Menkaure built the third, smallest, pyramid 30 years later, in approximately 2490 B.C. 

Egyptians Traveled Far To Mine Copper For The Tools To Cut The Stones For The Pyramids

The individuals who built the pyramids required strong tools to cut the stone for the pyramids. Workers mined copper across the Red Sea and transported it to the port of Wadi al-Jarf before it reached Giza. Pharaoh Khufu, also known as King Cheops, built the harbor about 111 miles from Suez – which is hundreds of miles from Giza. In addition to copper, the harbor was used to import other minerals for tool making.


Some Historians Believe The Pyramid Required 100,000 Workers

It’s impossible to agree upon an exact count of just how many people contributed to the building of the pyramids, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t educated hypotheses currently being postulated. According to Greek historian Herodotus, the pyramids were built by 100,000 workers, although many of today’s Egyptologists think the number is more likely between 20,000 and 30,000.

Famed Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass, believes around 36,000 ancient Egyptians built the pyramids based on their size, the size of the tombs, and the cemetery.

Other Historians Think Only 5,000 Workers Contributed To The Pyramid Building Process

Archeologist Mark Lehner of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and Harvard Semitic Museum has postulated a vastly smaller number. He noted that Herodotus wrote that 100,000 men worked in three shifts to build the structures. It’s unclear whether each shift contained 100,000 men or 33,000 men worked in each of the three shifts.

Lehner’s team conducted an experiment and calculated how many men would be needed to deliver 340 stones each day and determined there were likely 1,200 in the quarry and 2,000 delivering the stones. Other men would also be needed to cut the stones and set them into place. He concluded the process would have required “5,000 men to actually do the building and the quarrying and the schlepping from the local quarry” to build the pyramid within a 20-40 year period.

The Pyramids’ Alignment Points To An Alien Conspiracy

Some people believe the ancient Egyptians had some otherworld help creating the pyramids. One theory that conspiracy theorists have latched on to is that the pyramids were built by aliens. Their proof? They point out that the pyramids at Giza align with the stars in the sky that form Orion’s belt. In addition, these people believe that the Giza pyramids are in extraordinary shape compared to pyramids that were constructed hundreds of years later.

However, they don’t take into consideration the fact that the pyramids of Giza have undergone intense preservation over the years so it makes sense that they are in better condition than those that haven’t been touched. 

Dutch Physicists Believed The Ancient Egyptians Used Wet Sand To Drag The Blocks Across The Desert

In 2014, researchers from the University of Amsterdam and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter conducted an experiment. They transported heavy stone on a sledge across the sand. They proved it was significantly easier to move the sledge on damp sand versus dry sand. In fact, the action required just half the force. The reason? Wet sand sticks to itself and is more solid than dry sand. Plus, damp sand doesn’t bunch up in front of a sledge while it’s moving. In addition, the researchers noted that a painting from an 1800 B.C. tomb depicted a worker dumping water on the sand to help a sledge moving a heavy statue.

Another Theory: The Stones Were Turned Into 12-Sided Polygons & Rolled To The Site

Dr. Joseph West of Indiana State University developed his own theory about how the stone blocks were moved to the pyramid’s construction site. In 2014, he suggested that builders might have secured wooden beams to a stone block, turning it into a dodecagon (a 12-sided object), which would have enabled workers to more easily move them, as opposed to dragging them. He wrote:

A novel method is proposed for moving large (pyramid construction size) stone blocks. The method is inspired by a well known introductory physics homework problem and is implemented by tying 12 identical rods of appropriately chosen radius to the faces of the block. The rods form the corners and new faces that transform the square prism into a dodecagon which can then be moved more easily by rolling than by dragging.

The Pyramid Were Actually Constructed From Concrete

French theorist Joseph Davidovits was on the right path. His ideas led to the discovery of concrete blocks that were used on top of the pyramids. Professor Michel Barsoum from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University tested Davidovits’s theory and determined several things. The stones both inside and outside the pyramid appeared to be “reconstituted” limestone.

The stones contained a lot of water and were amorphous, which is extremely unusual for limestone. Moreover, silicon dioxide nanoscale spheres were present in one sample, indicating the blocks were not “natural” limestone.

Barsoum noted: 

It’s very improbable that the outer and inner casing stones that we examined were chiseled from a natural limestone block.

Perhaps The Pyramids Were Built Inside Out

When it comes to placing the large stone blocks in place on the pyramids, many believe the ancient Egyptians used large ramps. Thousands of people would have been required to set two million blocks to make the structures.

In 2013, engineer Peter James, whose company spent nearly two decades restoring the pyramids, disputed that claim. He called it “impossible” because the ramps would have had to be about one-quarter mile long. Otherwise, they would be too steep to move the limestone and granite materials. Instead, James theorized that the workers crafted the inner core of the pyramid with smaller blocks using a series of zigzagging ramps.

Then they constructed scaffolding to complete the outer core with larger blocks. James told the Daily Mail:

Looking at the pyramids from a builder’s point of view, and not an archaeologist’s, it’s clear that the current theories are nonsense. Just look at the numbers. Under the current theories, to lay 2 million blocks, the Egyptians would have to have laid a large block once every three minutes.

It would have been impossible to build the pyramids using ramps around the outside, too, because they would have ended up being larger, in some cases, than the pyramids themselves. Plus, what happened to the ramps once the pyramids were finished? I believe the Egyptians built the pyramids like a modern-day builder builds a house.