Vanished arm of Nile helped ancient Egyptians transport pyramids materials

Dramatic storm cloud above pyramids, Giza, Egypt.
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When the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids of Giza around 4,500 years ago, the Nile River had an arm — one that has long since vanished — with high water levels that helped laborers ship materials to their construction site, a new study finds.

The discovery builds on previous archaeological and historical findings that the Nile had an extra arm flowing by the pyramids. But now, by analyzing ancient pollen samples taken from earthen cores, it’s clear that “the former waterscapes and higher river levels” gave the Giza Pyramid‘s builders a leg up, a team of researchers wrote in a paper published Aug. 29 in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (opens in new tab).

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