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The 4,000-year-old mystery of how the pyramids of Egypt were built is solved

The 4,000-year-old mystery of how the pyramids of Egypt were built is solved

Scientists believe they may have solved the mystery of how 31 pyramids, including the world-famous Giza complex, were built in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago.

A research team from the University of North Carolina Wilmington has discovered that the pyramids were likely built along an ancient branch of the Nile River - which is now hidden beneath desert and farmland.

For many years, archaeologists have thought that the ancient Egyptians must have used a nearby waterway to transport materials such as the stone blocks needed to build the pyramids.

But until now, "no one was sure of the location, shape, size or proximity of this waterway to the actual location of the pyramids," according to one of the study's authors, Prof Eman Ghoneim.

In a cross-continental effort, the team of researchers used radar satellite imagery, historical maps, geophysical surveys and sediment cores (a technique used by archaeologists to find evidence from samples) to map the river branch - which they believe It was buried by a great drought and sandstorm thousands of years ago.

So a "buried" tributary is the key. Blocks, materials, and even people have been transported through this route.

The team found that the tributary of the river - called the Ahramat tributary, which means pyramid in Arabic - was approximately 64 km long and between 200-700 km wide.

And it was bordered by the 31 pyramids, which were built between 4700 and 3700 years ago.