Many of Egypt’s most famous monuments, such as the Sphinx and Cheops, contain hundreds of thousands of marine fossils, most of which are fully intact and preserved in the walls of the structures, according to a new study.
Giza pyramids at dusk
The study’s authors suggest that the stones that make up the examined monuments at Giza plateau, Fayum and Abydos must have been carved out of natural stone since they reveal what chunks of the sea floor must have looked like over 4,000 years ago, when the buildings were erected. “The observed random emplacement and strictly homogenous distribution of the fossil shells within the whole rock is in harmony with their initial in situ setting in a fluidal sea bottom environment,” wrote Ioannis Liritzis and his colleagues from the University of the Aegean and the University of Athens. The researchers analyzed the mineralogy, as well as the chemical makeup and structure, of small material samples chiseled from the Sphinx Temple, the Osirion Shaft, the Valley Temple, Cheops, Khefren, Osirion at Abydos, the Temple of Seti I at Abydos and Qasr el-Sagha at Fayum. X-ray diffraction and radioactivity measurements, which can penetrate solid materials to help illuminate their composition, were carried out on the samples. The analysis determined the primary building materials were “pinky” granites, black and white granites, sandstones and various types of limestones.
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The latter was found to contain “numerous shell fossils of nummulites gen.” At Cheops alone, “(they constituted) a proportion of up to 40 percent of the whole building stone rock.” The findings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Cultural Heritage.
Reprinted from unexplained
Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!
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