Egypt's pyramid builders enjoyed huge meat feasts

26th Apr 2013

Egypt has been found to be the home of one of history's biggest workforce feasts.

Archaeologists have unearthed the ancient remains of a huge catering operation.

It served up thousands of pounds of meat to feed the men who built Giza's famous pyramids.

Researchers made the find at a site believed to have been a workers' settlement about 1,300ft south of the Sphinx.

The cultural sites of almost 140 ancient pyramids continue to hold a fascination with holidaymakers on group tours, who revel in the triangular structures dotted around Egypt.

They were built as tombs for pharaohs and date back to 2630BC.

It is believed the well-fed labourers, who occupied the site for around 35 years, were constructing the pyramid of pharaoh Menkaure, the third and last pyramid on the Giza plateau.

The site is also called by its Arabic name, Heit el-Ghurab, and is also known as "the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders".

Archaeologists have also found a nearby cemetery with skeletons of pyramid builders, an enclosure with what are thought to be slaughter areas on the southern edge of the workers' town and piles of animal bones.

Researchers calculate an average of more than 4,000lbs (1,1814kg) of cattle, sheep and goat meat were served daily to sustain the pyramid builders.

"People were taken care of, and they were well fed when they were down there working, so there would have been an attractiveness to that," Richard Redding, chief research officer at Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA), told LiveScience.

Researchers will soon examine the remains of the workers' towns of Khufu and Khafre, the two other pharaohs who built pyramids at Giza.

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