Recent civil unrest in Egypt caused a slump in tourists visiting the country but as news emerges that archaelogists have discovered evidence of new pyramids that is all about to change.
US Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak from the University of Alabama used infra-red satellite images taken of the desert in Egypt to find a mass of hidden treasures. Evidence of 17 underground pyramids, more than 1000 undiscovered tombs and 3000 settlements has been unearthed. The NASA satellites, orbiting 435 miles above Earth, were equipped with cameras which are able to pinpoint objects smaller than three feet in diameter on the earth’s surface. The infra-red images were used to highlight different materials under the surface. The Egyptians used mud bricks which are much denser than the surrounding sand, therefore researchers were able to locate the buried buildings and tombs. It is believed that only about one percent of the wonders of Ancient Egypt have been discovered, but now, thanks to Dr Parcak’s pioneering approach it is hoped that more and more ancient wonders will be unearthed.
Dr Parcak believes these underground pyramids were covered by Nile silt and that there could be a lot more sites waiting to be discovered.
Excavations have started in Saqqara where the new the new pyramids were discovered and have already confirmed that two of the buried structures are pyramids.
The BBC are to screen ‘Egypt’s Lost Cities’ on May 30th which follows Dr Parcak as she makes her ground breaking discovery.
There are more than a hundred pyramids known in Egypt, many of which are in a state of disrepair. These ancient pyramids were built as burial places for kings and queens and it is believed that they represented a stairway for the king to ascend to the heavens. The earliest pyramid was the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, built over 4,600 years ago at Saqqara, overlooking the ancient capital of Memphis. The largest pyramid ever built was the Great Pyramid at Giza which was built for King Khufu. The Giza Plateau is also home to two
other large pyramids which, as with the Great Pyramid, have valley temples and mortuary temples connected by causeways. Also found at Giza is the famous 73 metre long Sphinx. The pyramids and the Sphinx are a major attraction for visitors on their cheap package holidays to Egypt.
There are many travel deals to Egypt available throughout the internet, not only for discovery the country’s ancient history but also for the amazing beach resorts and diving opportunities in the beautiful Red Sea.