Scientists may have Unraveling the Mystery of Egyptian Pyramids’ construction

The construction of Egypt’s pyramids, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, has intrigued and puzzled people for centuries. Despite numerous theories, the exact methods used by the ancient Egyptians to build these monumental structures remained a mystery. However, recent scientific research may have finally provided a plausible explanation.

Egyptian Pyramids' construction
Prof Ghoneim led the research team who made the discovery. © Eman Ghoneim/UNCW

The Enigma of Egypt’s Pyramids construction

The pyramids of Egypt, particularly the Great Pyramid of Giza, are marvels of ancient engineering. Built more than 4,000 years ago, these structures were constructed with millions of limestone and granite blocks, some weighing up to 80 tons. The question that baffled scientists and archaeologists was how the ancient Egyptians transported these massive blocks from quarries to the construction sites.

The Breakthrough Discovery

A research team under Prof Ghoneim from the University of North Carolina Wilmington has made a groundbreaking discovery that could potentially solve this long-standing mystery.

The team found evidence of a long-lost, ancient branch of the River Nile, now hidden under desert and farmland. This branch, named the Ahramat branch, with “Ahramat” (meaning pyramids in Arabic), was roughly 64 km (39 miles) long and between 200-700 meters (656-2,296 ft) wide.

Map of Ahramat branch
© Communications Earth & Environment (Commun Earth Environ) ISSN 2662-4435 (online)

The Significance of the Nile Branch

The discovery of the Ahramat branch is significant as it suggests that the ancient Egyptians could have used this waterway to transport the heavy stone blocks needed for the pyramid construction. The river’s energy could have been harnessed to carry these blocks, reducing the need for human labor. This theory aligns with the long-held belief that the Egyptians must have used a nearby waterway for transportation during the pyramid construction.

The Evidence

The research team used a combination of radar satellite imagery, historical maps, geophysical surveys, and sediment coring to map the now-buried river branch. The radar technology allowed them to penetrate the sand surface and produce images of hidden features, including buried rivers and ancient structures. The proximity of the river branch to the pyramid complexes suggests that it was active and operational during the construction phase of these pyramids.


The discovery of the Ahramat branch of the River Nile provides a compelling answer to the mystery of how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids. While further research is needed to confirm this theory, the findings represent a significant step forward in our understanding of ancient Egyptian civilization and its remarkable architectural achievements.

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