A new British documentary, Egypt’s Great Pyramid: The New Evidence, has revealed that the Great Pyramid, Khufu, was built using an intricate system of waterways which allowed thousands of workers to transport 170,000 tonnes of limestone in wooden boats along the Nile River.
The 2.5-tonne blocks were ferried through a system of specially designed canals before arriving at an inland port built just yards away from the base of the Great Pyramid, the documentary says.
Experts had long recognized that the stones from the pyramid’s chambers were transported from Luxor to Giza, the location of the Great Pyramid, but had never agreed how they got there.
The discovery of an ancient papyrus diary 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 tons of limestone along the Nile River Nile wooden boats.
The papyrus scroll is the only first-hand record of how the pyramid was built, and was written by an overseer named Merer. He explained in detail how the limestone was moved from the quarry in Tura to Giza using the Bronze Age waterways.
The ancient text described how Merer’s team dug huge canals to channel the water of the Nile to the pyramid.
By renovating the wooden planks from the ceremonial boat and then scanning them with a 3D laser, they archaeologists could figure out how they were first assembled, the documentary explains.