Thousands of years ago the area around the Giza Pyramids was abuzz with activity as a throng of workers built the pyramid of Pharaoh Menkaure – the smallest of the three, and also the last. According to Live Science, researchers who have spent more than two decades studying the Egyptian archaeology site have long puzzled over how the laborers were fed.
Now, after painstakingly documenting all found objects, including heaps of sheep, goat, cattle and pig bones, discovered at a worker’s camp located 1300 feet south of the Sphinx, they believe they know the answer.
In addition to the stacks of animal bones and a cemetery, scientists from the Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) discovered a corral large enough for 55 cattle and a possible slaughter section – the equivalent of a modern day catering camp.
Richard Redding, Chief AERA Research Associate, estimates that 11 cattle and 37 sheep were killed every day to feed the workers to ensure they consumed enough protein to keep their muscles strong enough to move enormous boulders around all day, every day for bursts of about five months.
Known as Heit el-Ghurab in Arabic or “The Lost City of the Pyramid Builders,” it was probably a popular place to work, according to Redding, because they were well fed and even had access to medical care.
He told Live Science that the workers probably ate better at camp than they did in their own villages.
The same thing happens today. How many of our readers have stayed with a corporation that has a particularly good cafeteria downstairs? One that serves hot meals on the cheap, and allows you to take the leftovers home for supper?
A large dump site near the site will hopefully reveal more clues about the Lost City and catering camps for the other two pyramids – Khufu and Khafre.
Today the Giza Pyramids look slightly tired in comparison, but that didn’t stop German photographers from climbing on them to get nice pictures. They, however, probably ate lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken across the way.