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Remains of a port unearthed near Egypt`s Giza pyramids

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 17:07

New York: Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a bustling port and barracks for sailors or military troops near the famed Giza Pyramids in Egypt.

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, researchers 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 harbour, is located by the Khentkawes town, `LiveScience` reported.
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.

Lehner`s team discovered a basin beside the Khentkawes town just 1 kilometre from the nearest Nile River channel.

This basin may be "an extension of a harbour or waterfront," Lehner said.

Researchers 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.
"Giza was the central port then for three generations, Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure," said Lehner, referring to the three pharaohs who built pyramids at Giza.

At the city archaeologists found evidence that a series of long buildings called "galleries" held troops who could have participated in voyages to the Levant and possibly guarded important people while at Giza.

The suspicions that the galleries were meant for troops were reinforced in 2012 when archaeologists discovered a broken hippo hip. In ancient Egypt, hippos were considered nuisances, as the animals ate crops at night.

"The young troops go out and they harpoon them and spear them," Lehner said.

The details of the discovery were presented by Lehner at a symposium held in Toronto by the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities.

First Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 17:07

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