(CNN) — Archeologists have spent centuries wondering how the towering pyramids of Giza were constructed thousands of years ago. Now, the discovery of a sophisticated ramp system has put them one step closer to solving the mystery.
The remains of the 4,500-year-old ramp was found at an alabaster quarry — of the same period — in an Egyptian desert by a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool, UK, and Cairo’s French Institute for Oriental Archaeology.
While the theory of a ramp system has been made before, what the Anglo-French team’s discovery of postholes suggests that the heavy alabaster blocks were being hauled up at a far steeper angle than previously thought.
The remains of the ramp were found by an Anglo-French team of researchers
Yannis Gourdon/Ifao/University of Liverpool
“Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more” Yannis Gourdon, from the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo, said in a statement.
The Pyramid of Giza sits 139 meters (about 455 feet) high and was built around 4,500 years ago. It’s the largest of the group of pyramids at Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and a major tourist attraction.