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Ancient Ramp Uncovered in Egyptian Alabaster Quarry

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Egypt quarry rampCAIRO, EGYPT—According to a Live Science report, researchers from the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology and Liverpool University have discovered a possible system for moving stone blocks out of an alabaster quarry at the site of Hatnub in Egypt’s Eastern Desert. Tool marks and the presence of two inscriptions related to Pharaoh Khufu suggest the system dates to the Fourth Dynasty, some 4,500 years ago, when the Great Pyramid was constructed in Giza. “This system is composed of a central ramp flanked by two staircases with numerous postholes,” said Yannis Gourdon, codirector of the joint mission. He suggests the stone blocks would have been placed on a sled and attached to the wooden posts with ropes. The ropes would have acted as a “force multiplier,” making it easier to pull the sled up the ramp, even on steep slopes. To read about a recent discovery regarding meals that may have been eaten by workers who built the pyramid of Khafre, go to “Let Them Eat Soup.”

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