CAIRO, Egypt — Egyptian archaeologists discovered a new set of tombs belonging to the workers who built the great pyramids, shedding light on how the labourers lived and ate more than 4,000 years ago, the antiquities department said Sunday.
The thousands of men who built the last remaining wonder of the ancient world ate meat regularly, worked in three months shifts and were given the honour of being buried in mud brick tombs within the shadow of the sacred pyramids they worked on.
The newly discovered tombs date to Egypt’s 4th Dynasty (2575 B.C. to 2467 B.C.) when the great pyramids were built, according to the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass.
Graves of the pyramid builders were first discovered in the area in 1990, he said, and discoveries such as these show that the workers were paid labourers, rather than the slaves of popular imagination.
“These tombs were built beside the king’s pyramid, which indicates that these people were not by any means slaves,” said Hawass in the statement.