(ISNS) — Of the Seven Wonders of the World only one remains standing: the 4,500-year-old pyramids of Giza in Egypt. How an ancient civilization organized the people, the supplies and the infrastructure to put up something that huge and long-lasting remains mostly a mystery and the topic of considerable controversy. Some cable television programs even credit aliens.
Archeologist Richard Redding of the Kelsey Museum at the University of Michigan thinks he has worked it out. The effort required industrial farming, cattle drives, and tens of thousands of workers. No Martians.
The best estimates are that some 8,000-10,000 workers at a time labored over 20 years, Redding said. The pyramids were built during the 3rd and 4th dynasties of what archeologists call the Old Kingdom, from 2600-2100 B.C. Read more.
At least 35 small pyramids, along with graves, have been discovered clustered closely together at a site called Sedeinga in Sudan.
Discovered between 2009 and 2012, researchers are surprised at how densely the pyramids are concentrated. In one field season alone, in 2011, the research team discovered 13 pyramids packed into roughly 5,381 square feet (500 square meters), or slightly larger than an NBA basketball court.
They date back around 2,000 years to a time when a kingdom named Kush flourished in Sudan. Kush shared a border with Egypt and, later on, the Roman Empire. The desire of the kingdom’s people to build pyramids was apparently influenced by Egyptian funerary architecture. Read more.
Two possible pyramid complexes might have been found in Egypt, according to a Google Earth satellite imagery survey.
Located about 90 miles apart, the sites contain unusual grouping of mounds with intriguing features and orientations, said satellite archaeology researcher Angela Micol of Maiden, N.C.
One site in Upper Egypt, just 12 miles from the city of Abu Sidhum along the Nile, features four mounds each with a larger, triangular-shaped plateau.
The two larger mounds at this site are approximately 250 feet in width, with two smaller mounds approximately 100 feet in width.
The site complex is arranged in a very clear formation with the large mound extending a width of approximately 620 feet — almost three times the size of the Great Pyramid.
“Upon closer examination of the formation, this mound appears to have a very flat top and a curiously symmetrical triangular shape that has been heavily eroded with time,” Micol wrote in her website Google Earth Anomalies. Read more.
One month ago, Giza’s antiquities inspectorate installed a new system to pump subterranean water out from under Egypt’s historical Sphinx monument and the underlying bedrock.
Subterranean water levels at the Giza Plateau, especially the area under the valley temples and Sphinx, have recently increased due to a new drainage system installed in the neighbouring village of Nazlet Al-Seman and the irrigation techniques used to cultivate the nearby residential area of Hadaeq Al-Ahram.
The system involves 18 state-of-the-art water pumps capable of pumping 26,000 cubic metres of water daily.
The project, which cost some LE22 million and is financed by USAID, has raised fears among some hydrologists and ecologists that it could erode the bedrock under the Sphinx and lead to the historic monument’s collapse. Read more.
Archaeologists claim to have unearthed the remnants of a large prehistoric building, which they say could be older than Egypt’s pyramids.
Experts said they were mystified by the “unique” find on the site of a housing development in Monmouth.
Monmouth Archaeology, which found the wooden foundations, said they dated to at least the Bronze Age, but could be early Neolithic, about 6,500 years old.
It said the pyramids were built about 4,500 years ago.
Steve Clarke of Monmouth Archaeology, who has 55 years’ experience, claimed nothing like it had been discovered in Britain before and he was checking if something similar had been unearthed on mainland Europe.
He said the structure, possibly a long house, had been built on the edge of a long-lost lake, which has silted up over time. Read more.
The most realistic and complete virtual rendition of Egypt’s Giza Plateau is now available online, allowing anyone with a computer to wander the necropolis, explore shafts and burial chambers, and enter four of the site’s ancient temples, including Khufu and Menkaure’s pyramids.
Engineered by software design firm Dassault Systèmes in collaboration with Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (MFA), the free application is available on multiple devices, including 3D-enabled computer monitors and TVs, and immersive environments.
Indeed, this is not just another too-clean looking and ultimately boring 3D virtual tour of Egypt’s famous archaeological site.
“Many 3D models of ancient sites have more to do with fantasy and video games than with archaeology. The colors, surfaces, and textures are not researched and appear quite flat or unrealistic,” Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King professor of Egyptology at Harvard University and director of the MFA’s Giza Archives, told Discovery News.
According to Manuelian, Giza 3D focuses on reality and reproduces one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World on sound scholarly data. Read more.
Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt.
More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings.
Initial excavations have already confirmed some of the findings including of two suspected pyramids.
“To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archaeologist,” says Dr Sarah Parcak.
She has pioneered the work in space archaeology from a Nasa-sponsored laboratory in Birmingham, Alabama and says she was amazed at how much she and her team have found. Read more.