Cairo University jumps 100 ranks in Shanghai Ranking    Egypt's Sisi appoints new Suez Canal Authority chairman    New micro-insurance policies in Egypt record $17 mln in H1    Sudan's opposition coalition, military council sign accord on transitional gov't    Uber says customers paid over $6 billion in cash last year    Sudan's key opposition may nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok for prime minister    Zimbabwe commission asks FIFA to fire soccer bosses    Disney warrior Mulan star: ‘I support the Hong Kong police, #BoycottMulan trending    Yemeni Houthis claim attack on Saudi Arabia's Shaybah oil field; no Saudi confirmation    US issues warrant to seize Iranian tanker off Gibraltar    China's missile destroyer Xi'an makes 4-day technical stop in Egypt    Trump reveals wishes to buy Greenland yet it's not for sale    Tennis: Murray to face Sandgren in Winston-Salem Open first round    Egypt's Zamalek equal club record with 7-0 hammering of Somalia's Dekedaha    Barcelona's Coutinho to join Bayern on loan    Egypt's Grand Mufti Allamdenounces Pakistan mosque terrorist attack    Oil climbs 0.7% as Wall Street rebounds, but weak OPEC outlook caps earnings    Egypt to launch Bike for Every Citizen initiative soon    Gold prices fall as equities rise, but eyes 3rd weekly earnings    LA Opera declines details on longtime general director's investigation    First destination of EgyptAir's sixth B787-9 Dreamliner is Beijing    Egypt's IDA, Chinese SEU University discuss increasing industrial cooperation    Samih Sawiris lays foundation stone of El Gouna Cultural Center    Alexandria's Summer Opera Festival kicks off Friday    Egypt's hot and humid weather to continue into Saturday    Ebola outbreak spreads to 3rd province in eastern Congo    EgyptAir operates 10 flights to bring pilgrims home Friday    Grain imports from Russia are carefully examined, says minister over radioactive blast    Egypt hosts Declaration of Change meeting to support stability in Sudan    Iran's Rouhani stresses rejection to foreign presence in Gulf    Economic, educational legislations will top fifth parliamentary round    New Alamein to host Amr Diab concert on Friday    Sudan opposition to nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok for prime minister: Sources    Multi-millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein autopsy report shows broken neck    Liverpool wins Super Cup after penalty shootout against Chelsea    Egypt's Zamalek to announce new coach Sunday: Mortada Mansour    Egypt produces ‘Fraud' documentary on Muslim Brotherhood history    VIDEO: Egyptian Media Group releases ‘Scam,' documentary on ‘Muslim Brotherhood terrorist history'    Photo of Egyptologist Zahi Hawass to decorate NYC's Times Square to promote tourism to Egypt    Egypt to reopen Tanta Museum August-end: ministry    Egyptian tycoon Hussein Salem dies in Spain    FACE integrates homeless children into society    How Egyptians prepare for Eid Al-Adha    Three incredible Egyptian athletes who challenged their disabilities    Egypt keen on supporting youth: Sisi on IYD    T. Jefferson Parker tells latest tale in tight, vivid prose    Perpetrator of NCI blast identified, security kills 15 collaborators in shootout    EFA's marketing department awaits election of new board to develop Egyptian football: Zaher    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Who built the Pyramids?
World-renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass responds to a question that continues to perplex everyone
Published in Ahram Online on 07 - 12 - 2010

“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. Overseers were responsible for providing food for their gang and for recording their absences. I once found one of these lists of absences in the Valley of the Kings. It was a unique inscribed block with the first letter of a workman's name on it. The other, smaller tombs at Giza were for the gang of this overseer. These tombs are comprised of shafts, each of which contained a skeleton of a workman and several pottery vessels, which they would have used to drink beer.
We have other evidence of the workmen who built the pyramids, including text. One of my great adventures was to visit the five relieving chambers built stacked one over the other above the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid. It is dangerous work to visit these rooms because to access them I have to climb an unsteady wooden ladder of about five meters, squeeze trough a small opening and then crawl on my chest for another four meters. I then have to climb up again into each of the chambers.
All of these relieving chambers contain the names of 19th century British explorers, but the fifth chamber also contains two pieces of ancient graffiti. Both of these short texts are, additionally, evidence that the Great Pyramid was built for Khufu. One says, ‘Year 17 of Khufu,' and the other, more interestingly, gives us the name of one of his worker gangs, the ‘Friends of Khufu.' Both bits of graffiti were written in red pigment, which may be the mysterious mefat substance brought from the western desert.
We know from an inscription in the western desert that Khufu sent an expedition there in Year 27 of his reign to collect mefat. This inscription is further evidence in support of some scholar's arguments that Khufu reigned for 30-32 years and not for 23 years as recorded in the Turin King List, a papyrus of the much later Ramesside period (c. 1292-1070 BC).

Clic here to read the story from its source.