Two 4,500-year-old houses found in the neighborhood of the pyramids

Credit: Copyright 2016 by the Ancient Egypt Research Associates

Archaeologists have discovered two ancient houses in the vicinity of the pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The structures may have housed officials charged with supervising the production of food for a paramilitary unit is more than 4500 years ago.

The dwellings were found in an ancient port in Giza that flourished in a time when the Pyramid of Menkaure was built in Giza. (Menkaure was a pharaoh who ruled from around 2490 B. C. 2472 B. C.)

One of the structures may have housed an official who oversaw the containment and slaughter of animals for food, while a priest, who is a part of a body called the “wadaat” to have lived in the other house, archaeologists said. [See Photos of the Excavations and the Gizeh Homes]

Seals found in the vicinity of the presumption of a priest the place of residence of the wadaat, an ancient Egyptian setting, of which the priests were high officials of the government, said Mark Lehner, director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, the organization that led the excavations in the two houses. This property is connected to a structure that is used for the malting, suggesting that the resident supervised the brewing and baking activities in the time, Lehner said.

The two homes are located in the vicinity of a series of structures, galleries, housed in a paramilitary unit in Giza, Lehner said. The galleries that may be in the possession of more than 1,000 people. No food produced in the neighbourhood of the two houses is likely to be especially designed for people who live in the galleries, although some of the food could have reached, people who work in the pyramid of Menkaure, Lehner said.

Only the food needed to feed that life in the galleries would have been immense. The amount of the bucket of wheat might be needed 877.54 kilogram (1,934 lbs.) per day, calculated Claire Malleson, archaeobotanist with Ancient Egypt Research Associates, in an article published in the book “Exploring the Materiality of Food” (Routledge, 2017).

People would have had to bake this bucket of wheat and put it in the bread. The people in the galleries and worked at the pyramid of Menkaure would also require a massive amount of meat.

Old port

The two houses are located in what is Lehner’s opinion, was “in principle, the national port of his time,” with goods and materials come from all corners of Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean. Archaeologists previously found in other homes in this port, including a 21-room house used by the scribes, who worked in the port.

A port is probably in operation at Giza where the Great Pyramid was built in the name of the Pharaoh Khufu (reign circa 2551-2528 B. C.). A log written by an inspector with the name Merer, who lived in the 27th year of Khufu’s reign, seems to contain references to a port. This log is in the process of being deciphered.

Excavations resumed in this area in 2019.

Originally published on Live Science.


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