Port, barracks unearthed near Giza pyramids
Posted on Jan 29 2014 | IANS
London, Jan 29 : Next time you plan a visit to pyramids in Egypt, don't miss to see the ruins of a bustling port and barracks for sailors or military troops nearby.
In a startling discovery, archaeologists working at the Giza Pyramids have unearthed a basin that may have been part of a thriving harbour and a 'silo building complex' just 1 km from the nearest Nile river channel.
They were in use while the pyramids were being built about 4,500 years ago, shows research.
The archaeologists have been excavating a city near the Giza Pyramids that dates mainly to the reign of the pharaoh Menkaure - who built the last pyramid at Giza.
They have also been excavating a town located close to a monument dedicated to Queen Khentkawes, possibly a daughter of Menkaure.
"Several discoveries at the city and Khentkawes town suggest Giza was a thriving port," said archaeologist Mark Lehner, the director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) that explores Egypt's archaeological record seeking the origins of civilisation.
The barracks are located at the city, while a newly discovered basin, that may be part of a harbour, is located by the Khentkawes town.
"This basin may be an extension of a harbour or waterfront," Lehner said at a recent symposium organised by the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities.
"Giza was the central port then for three generations - Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure," explained Lehner in his presentation, referring to the three pharaohs who built pyramids at Giza.
The archaeologists found evidence that a series of long buildings called 'galleries' held troops who could have participated in voyages.
"I wonder if we are basically seeing barracks not of the workers, but of elite crews of ships," Lehner told LiveScience.