The pyramids of Giza originally overlooked a now defunct arm of the Nile. This fluvial channel, the Khufu branch, enabled navigation to the Pyramid Harbor complex but its precise environmental history is unclear. To fill this knowledge gap, we use pollen-derived vegetation patterns to reconstruct 8,000 y of fluvial variations on the Giza floodplain. After a high-stand level concomitant with the African Humid Period, our results show that Giza's waterscapes responded to a gradual insolation-driven aridification of East Africa, with the lowest Nile levels recorded at the end of the Dynastic Period. The Khufu branch remained at a high-water level (∼40% of its Holocene maximum) during the reigns of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, facilitating the transportation of construction materials to the Giza Pyramid Complex.
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 13 Sep 2022
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Copyright © 2022 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND)
- Giza Harbour
- Great pyramid
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