Friday, December 10, 2010

Who built the pyramids?

Ahram Online (Zahi Hawass)

“Who built the pyramids?” This is a question that the public still asks me even today. My continuing discoveries at the site of the tombs of the pyramid builders at Giza (first found in 1990) clearly demonstrate that these world famous structures, the last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the World, were built by Egyptian craftsmen and that they were not slaves. If these workmen had been slaves, they would not have been granted the honor of being buried beside their king, in the majestic shadow of their impressive handiwork.

A very important discovery was made in the pyramid builders’ cemetery a few months ago. It made me extremely happy! The tombs that were found, as well as the pottery found inside them, were dated by their architectural style to the 4th Dynasty (c. 2639-2504 BC), the period of time when Khufu, the owner of the Great Pyramid, reigned. These tombs are also located very close to the Great Pyramid, indicating that were probably the first to have been built in this area.

The tombs are unique. One big, rectangular tomb, built of mud brick and covered with plaster, was found surrounded by smaller tombs. The big tomb belonged to an overseer of one of the gangs of workmen, named Idu, who had his name inscribed on a stele.

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