Archaeologists working at the Giza Pyramids have made several new discoveries that shed light on life at the time the pyramids were built. Among the discoveries is a basin that may have been part of a thriving harbor and a "silo building complex," where researchers have found numerous bones from the forelimbs of cattle, offerings in ancient Egypt, suggesting royal cult priests perhaps venerating the pharaoh Khafre occupied the complex.
The remains of a bustling port and barracks for sailors or military troops have been discovered near the Giza Pyramids. They were in use while the pyramids were being built about 4,500 years ago.
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. Also near the pyramids
they have been excavating a town, located close to a monument dedicated to Queen Khentkawes, possibly a daughter of Menkaure. The barracks are located at the city, while a newly discovered basin, that may be part of a harbor, is located by the Khentkawes town.
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. For instance, Lehner's team discovered a basin beside the Khentkawes town just 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) from the nearest Nile River channel.
This basin may be "an extension of a harbor or waterfront," Lehner said at a recent symposium held here by the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities. Lehner said his team also found at Giza charcoal remains of cedar, juniper, pine and oak, all trees that grew in a part of the eastern Mediterranean called the Levant
, along with more than 50 examples of combed ware jars, a style of pottery from that region. Additionally, large amounts of granite from Aswan, located on ancient Egypt's southern border, have long been known to be at Giza, and these could have been brought down the Nile River to Giza's port.