A new graphic shows the complex system of ramps and pulleys with which the Egyptians built the ancient pyramids.
It follows the recent discovery of ancient Egyptian stonemason ramparts built 4,500 years ago in an alabaster quarry in the country's eastern desert.
The system lifted blocks of stone weighing several tons hundreds of feet over huge sledges, archaeologists believe.
This technology may have allowed the Egyptians to make steep climbs to build the Great Pyramid – the only surviving wonder of the world.
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A new graphic shows the complex system of ramps and pulleys with which the Egyptians built the ancient pyramids. The system lifted blocks of stone weighing several tons hundreds of feet over huge sledges, archaeologists believe
The ancient ramp was discovered in the Hatnub quarry by researchers from the French Institute of Oriental Archeology in Cairo and the University of Liverpool.
It was flanked by two mail-lined staircases, with ropes tied to pull the huge stone blocks.
The workers went up the stairs on both sides of the block, dragging the rope, a system that took some of the weight off the huge load.
The big wooden posts, up to 0.5 meters thick, were key to the system, the researchers said.
They allowed teams of workers to pull from below, while others pulled the block from the top.
This meant that the ramp was twice as inclined as it would have thought possible given the weight of the stones hoisted by the workers.
"The arrangement allows people to move the ramp up and down and put all the power in the same direction," Dr. Roland Enmarch from the University of Liverpool The Times.
The finding is significant as the stones raised from the quarry were about the same size as the Great Pyramid.
The remains of a 4,500-year-old ramp system were uncovered in an old quarry in the eastern desert. Experts say such a design would have taken some weight off the workers who had to carry these huge loads
Ramps used in the construction were removed after completion, leaving the techniques used by the Egyptians to build the giant pyramid a mystery.
The researchers said the discovery was the first of its kind and clearly shows that it dates "at least in Khufu's reign," for which the 481-foot pyramid was built.
They argued that it was "plausible" to conclude that the system discovered in Hatnub was the same as that used to build the Great Pyramid.
"This shows that at the time of the construction of the Great Pyramid, this technology was also used," Dr. Enmarch.
Archaeologists had long assumed that the Egyptians used ramps to build the Great Pyramid, but how this ramp system worked was a mystery for centuries.
Archaeologists may have come a step closer to understanding how the Great Pyramid of Egypt was built thousands of years ago (Photo)
It was long assumed that the ramps would have to be at most ten percent, so that the workers could grind the blocks so high.
That would have meant that the ramps stretched far into the desert.
However, the new find shows that the ramps had an incline of up to 20 percent, which they mastered through the complex roller system.
"This system consists of a central ramp flanked by two stairwells with numerous post holes," Dr. Yannis Gourdon, co-director of the joint mission in Hatnub, opposite Live Science.
"With a sled that carried a block of stone and was attached to these wooden posts with ropes, the ancient Egyptians were able to pull the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more."
WHAT IS EGYPT'S VALLEY OF THE KINGS?
The Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt is one of the country's main tourist attractions and is located next to the Giza pyramid complex.
The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who were from 1550 to 1069 BC. Ruled, rested in the tombs carved in the rocks of the region.
The royal tombs are adorned with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the faith and the death rituals of this time.
The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who were from 1550 to 1069 BC. Ruled, rested in the tombs carved in the rocks of the region. Pictured are statues of goddesses at the site
Almost all tombs were opened and plundered centuries ago, but the sites still give some idea of the opulence and power of the pharaohs.
The most famous pharaoh in the place is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922.
To this day, original decorations of sacred images, including the Book of Gates or the Book of Caverns, have been preserved in the tomb.
This is one of the most important funerary scriptures on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs.
The Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt is one of the country's main tourist attractions and is located next to the Giza pyramid complex. The most famous pharaoh in the place is Tutankhamun, whose tomb was discovered in 1922