Thursday, August 26, 2010

Huge Structure Discovered Near The Bent Pyramid

Still more news out of Egypt.  With those ever-shifting sands, archaeologists will still be discovering ruins 1,000 years from now!

At Heritage Key
'Huge' structure discovered near Snefru's Bent Pyramid in Egypt may be an ancient harbour
Submitted by owenjarus on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 18:27

The passageway of the newly discovered causeway.
It can easily fit two fully grown men. Its walls are three meters high and
built with mud brick. They end with a vault at the top. The walls
have bits of undecorated white and yellow plaster on them. Archaeologists
can tell that these walls have gone through four phases of plastering.
They believe that this causeway was maintained for at least 40 years.
Copyright: Cairo Department of the German Archaeological Institute.
Archaeologists have discovered a large structure – to the northeast of the 4,600 year old Bent Pyramid – which may be the remains of an ancient harbour. It connects to one of the pyramid’s temples by way of a 140 meter long causeway.

. . .

The structure itself is U-shaped, 90 meters by 145 meters. It was built with mud brick and has no wall on its east side. “Maybe this structure can be interpreted as (a) harbour or something like that,” said Dr. Nicole Alexanian of the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo. She said that it may have been beside water, “it’s possible that ships could enter by a canal in this area.”

Harbours are known from later Egyptian pyramids and may have served as a receiving point for the body of the pharaoh. It is unlikely, however, that the newly discovered structure was used for the burial of the Bent Pyramid’s creator – the pharaoh Snefru. It is widely believed by Egyptologists that his final resting place was the Red Pyramid, located two kilometres to the north of the Bent Pyramid.

. . .

The causeway runs due east of the temple and has a vaulted roof. This appears to be the earliest known instance in which a roofed causeway was used in an Egyptian pyramid complex.

“The walls - they built them to a really astonishing height, almost three meters,” said Dr. Alexanian. “It was like a tunnel - astonishingly it’s also very steep.”

The interior of the causeway contained a passageway more than 2.5 meters wide. Its walls were lined with undecorated white and yellow plaster which appears to have been maintained for a long time.

“Four phases of the plastering could be distinguished which attest that it was renewed several times,” said the team in a recent report. “From (the) state of weathering of the different plaster layers it can be inferred that the causeway was used for a substantial period of time i.e. at least 40 years.”

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