Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Secrets of daily life among the great pyramids of Giza

Columbus Dispatch (Doug Caruso)

The Egyptians who built the giant pyramids on the Giza Plateau 4,500 years ago ate dense bread, choice cuts of meat and preserved fish.

They slept in military-style barracks and belonged to work gangs with names such as the "Drunkards of Menkaure."

Archaeologist Mark Lehner knows these details because he spent the past two decades digging them up from their lost city.

Nearby are the pyramids and the Great Sphinx, icons most people associate with Egyptian archaeology. But Lehner likens those to what someone might find someday if they dig up the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

"What would you know about their diet or the economy or a crisis in the economy or how much they changed in 300 years since George Washington unless you dig the outlying parts of D.C.?" he asked.

His team's treasures -- grain mills, animal bones and pieces of clay seals -- are found in bakeries, barracks and the homes of scribes.

See the above page for the full story.

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